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Prepare The Way Of The Lord

     I have, recently, been helping to plan for an Advent gathering event day. We are planning to have  many crafts, snacks and a nice time in the church for a service. It is kind of like a miniature 'Day Camp,' however, instead of being all day it is 2 hours long. We had all decided that this was going to be  solely based on Advent and CHRISTmas- no Santa. Of course, with any event, we have started to plan and prepare for the wonderful Christmas gathering. I have personally been assigned to prepare a little prayer service for the end to do in the church.

     To run any good event, it will require good preparation to make sure that everything will run smooth. The event, we hope, will run smooth and properly, and of course, we try to prepare for all unthinkable situations. However, sometimes we cannot prepare for everything.  It becomes difficult to predict the things that will happen, and then becomes are mission to quickly act upon it.

     In this weekends first reading, the Prophet Isaiah proclaims, what we know as, the Gifts of The Holy Spirit. The beginning of the reading, Isaiah says ,"On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse..."   Isaiah is talking about the gifts of the king that will come from the king. Their current king, Ahaz relies more on political alliances and not God for his kingship. Isaiah paints a picture of what the true king will be like. He will come from  the line of David-who is the son of Jesse.  This king will bare the great seven gifts- which they have never had and need in their time. This king is in fact Christ our Lord.

     In this weekends Gospel, John the Baptist is preparing the grounds. He is telling them to Repent for the kingdom is near. John knew that repentance was right-that it was through the water we are purified. That we become clean through the pouring (or dunking into) of the baptismal water. John proclaims to us to, " Bear good fruit, worthy of Repentance"  What exactly does this mean?  Instead of saying "Fruit worthy of repentance", it should really be, " Bear Good fruit as evidence of your Repentance"  Repenting is not enough, we must be fully of refreshment and be able to live and work at producing Good Fruit!

    How do we produce good Fruit? How do we show our repentance? We let the sprout from Jesses Grown in our hearts. We prepare our hearts! We stay awake, we plan for the unexpected, we cleanse our heart, and make a fine nourishment for Christ Jesus. We open our selves, and our hearts, and live out our Faith in a world that is trying to destroy it. We prepare by living out the gifts of the Holy Spirit-which Christ will graciously out pour on us!

     Saint Paul, this weekend, gives us a message of Hope. That we should wait hopefully for the coming of Christ It is in the scripture, Paul says, that we find Hope. The Word of God is the center of life, Love, and indeed Hope. For everything was written so that we may still hope in the coming of the Lord. We can become so mislead and fall to believe in many other things- but we must have hope to know that the sprout of Jesse will  sprout in our hearts.

     Paul then prays that we may live in harmony with each other through Christ Jesus. This is easily connected to the first reading, where Isaiah lists things that are natural enemies have become natural friends. That we may live in Harmony. All of this is because of the Lord Jesus-the sprout from Jesse. That in Christ we may all be together and live in peace. For in Christ their is nor more differences-we are all one because we share one common love: The Love of Christ.

     On this Second Sunday of Advent may we come and prepare for the coming of Christ. May we prepare the Manger that rests in our heart for the sprout of Jesse to come. May we, as we prepare for the Advent of Lord, wait with a joyful hope as we 'put on Christ.'  May we live in harmony- that natural enemies will become natural friends. May we produce the Fruit that is evidence of Repentance. The Fruit that shows we have repented and will live in Harmony with the Lord!

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