Advent Meditation – St. John the Baptist

From the Desk of Father David

Dear Parishioners,

             I hope you heard the great news about Pope Francis appointing Bishop Michael Fisher as Bishop of Buffalo.  I thank God for sending us a Shepherd to guide us during these difficult times.

Last Sunday I announced that I was going to do a virtual Advent retreat.  I am sorry but at this time it is not possible.  The good news is that I hope to frequently have meditations in the bulletin.  This weekend the reflection is on meeting Jesus through John the Baptist.

May God transform this Advent into a time of renewed hope and inner peace for us and those we love.

Peace and healing,

Fr. David


Advent Meditation – St. John the Baptist

Ideas to help you experience the richness on this prayer time:

1. Pray to the Holy Spirit to enable you to stay open to experience Jesus.  You can use these words or your own, “Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.” 

2. Read the passage slowly a couple of times trying to listen with your heart to what God is saying to you by immersing yourself into the passage. Feel free to pause at any time to ponder or respond to God. 

3. Have paper and pen ready so you can write down any insights, feeling or reactions from this prayer time.

Passage from Marks Gospel 1:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.  As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way.   A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.  John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey.  And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”

Following are some ideas on how you can apply the passage to your life.  Feel free to pick and choose the ones that help you encounter Christ.  Please remember to take your time and pause frequently …

1. John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Repentance is about turning away from what is wrong and a turning to God.  How can you, with God’s grace, turn more away from your problems and concern Jesus? Who can help you? Ask God for the grace you need to be filled with His light.

2. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
All these people were excited about a new beginning in their lives, ask the Lord to help you let go of the past and be excited about your future.

3. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey
John is dressing and acting very differently from the people of his day.  When has God surprised you by doing something totally unexpected?  Ask the Lord to help you stay open to the unexpected ways He blesses you, especially during these Seasons of Advent and Christmas.

4. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”
John being humble enabled him to recognize Jesus and encourage others to Him.  Are you humbled enough to see your need for Jesus and others? Humble means knowing that your gifts even your very life is from God.  At Your baptism you received the Holy Spirit and God the Father called you His beloved Daughter or Son. Picture God lovingly looking at you and calling you His beloved child.  Then take some time now and have a heart to heart talk with Jesus.  End your conversation by thanking Jesus for being with you

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