The Wednesday Word
Relax and Remember
Set aside 10 -15 minutes and create a suitable environment by removing any distractions. Make sure that you are comfortable. Perhaps light a candle. Make the sign of the cross † and remain still for a minute of settling silence.
Call to mind the love that God has for you.
Remember that through this scripture our Lord is truly present. Then read the Gospel, preferably aloud and slowly, and pay attention to any words that stand out. If any do, meditate on them for a few minutes and be invited into a dialogue with God.
Taken from the Gospel for 5th December 2021 (Luke 3:1-6): The Baptist’s Message
In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah: “A voice cries in the wilderness; prepare a way for the Lord; make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low; winding ways will be straightened and rough roads made smooth. And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.”
After spending a few minutes considering this Gospel, continue by reading Fr Henry Wansbrough’s reflection.
Each year the two middle Sundays of Advent centre on John the Baptist, preparing the way for Jesus. John came to prepare a community of repentance, of those who would be ready for the Messiah. This was to be a community not of those who went around moping about their sinfulness, but a community of those who had changed their ways, that is, their whole system of values and priorities. The Hebrew concept of repentance which John proclaimed was a matter of turning round and going in the opposite direction. To be ready for the Messiah meant – and still means – just such a radical change of attitude. John himself had prepared by going out into the desert, for the Messiah was to come striding across the desert, as did Israel at the Exodus from Egypt.
John’s clothing and his whole way of life showed his rejection of current materialism and his single-minded dedication. His is not primarily a negative point of view, for his quotation of Isaiah (reflected also in today’s first reading from Baruch), shows that the flattening of the hills and the filling of the valleys is a preparation for the Kingdom of peace and justice. A good deal of positive planning and of spade-work is needed if we are to be ready to welcome that Kingdom. What sort of change did John the Baptist
ask from his listeners? Think of one change you need to make in your life to welcome Jesus.
Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB
Respond and Request
Now slowly and prayerfully read the Gospel once again but this time in silence. Consider how this Gospel could apply to your life in general. Then thank God for any insight you may have received. Conclude by asking God to bless you with one of the following spiritual gifts to help you act on any resolution you have made: love, understanding, wisdom, faithfulness, peace, self control, patience, or joy. Please remember to pray for the Church and particularly our school families. Then conclude by requesting the prayers of Our Lady & St Joseph.
The Wednesday Word is under the patronage of St Joseph,
Patron Saint of Families and Protector of the Church