Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, December 4th and 5th, 2021
Our first reading today is from the Prophet Baruch, and he notes that “God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground”
Saint John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, mentions in today’s Gospel quoting the Prophet Isaiah that “Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low”
The Catholic Church teaches that every biblical passage has both a literal sense – an application to the current situation. The literal sense of both the prophets Baruch and Isaiah prophesying that every mountain will be knocked down and every valley filled in are trying to encourage both those who remained in Jerusalem and those who were in exile.
But the Catholic Church also says that every passage in the Bible has a spiritual sense in addition to the literal sense. And so what about the spiritual sense of this passage predicting that every mountain will be knocked down and every valley filled in?
There are lots of Church Fathers that interpret the mountains being knocked down and valleys filled in as being a positive thing, and there are also lots of Church Fathers who see mountains being knocked down and valleys filled in as being a negative thing, spiritually, and they are both right!
One of the early Church Fathers sees the mountains and valleys being our sins. So often we put obstacles in the way of Christ. Sometimes we attempt to build mountains of pride, lust, gluttony and lots of other sins, and sometimes we sink into valleys of fear, sadness, loneliness, and 1,000 other things.
John the Baptist is encouraging us to make straight the path of the Lord
What should be clear is that Jesus desires a relationship with every single person today, right now, and that we should remove the obstacles that we are placing in His way. He can overcome anything, but he will not come into our souls unless invited.
This Advent, as we focus on preparing the way of the Lord, let us roll out the red carpet for Jesus in our hearts, allow him in, make straight Jesus’ path, and continue to knock down the mountains and fill in the valleys through the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation. We do not have an Advent Penance Service, but there are approximately 10 hours of confession offered between now and Christmas, in addition to my being available for appointments. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have sins you want absolved so as to make straight the road of Christ into your soul.