Advent marks the beginning of the Ecclesiastical year. During this season, the faithful are encouraged to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the Lord Jesus’ coming into the world as the incarnate God of love.
Pope Francis said that to prepare the way of the Lord’s coming, it is necessary to remind of ourselves of Saint John the Baptist’s invitation for conversion. He said that we are called to fill the ‘valleys’ caused by coldness and indifference, opening ourselves to others with the same sentiments as Jesus, that is, with affection and fraternal attention which takes on the needs of our neighbors. This means that one cannot have a relationship of love, charity and fraternity with one’s neighbors if there are “gaps” just as one cannot travel a road with many potholes or obstacles. This requires a change of attitude. There is a need to curtail the indifference caused by pride and arrogance. How many people, perhaps without realizing it, are proud, are indifferent, lack that kindly relationship. It is necessary to overcome this by making concrete gestures of reconciliation with our brothers and sisters, asking for forgiveness for our faults. It is not easy to reconcile with another. One always thinks: “who will take the first step?”. The Lord helps us in this if we are of good will. Indeed, conversion is complete if it leads us to humbly recognize our errors, our infidelity and failings. We must not allow ourselves to succumb to the mentality of the world, because the center of our life should be Jesus and His word of light, love and solace. It is He!
Furthermore, Pope Francis said that Saint John the Baptist invited the people of his time to conversion, with force, with vigor and with firmness. Nevertheless, he knew how to listen, he knew how to perform gestures of tenderness, gestures of forgiveness toward the multitude of men and women who went to him to confess their sins and to be baptized with the baptism of repentance. Thus, let each of us ask ourselves: how can I change something in my attitude, in order to prepare the way of the Lord?