Today is the second Sunday of Advent. We had a wonderful homily about preparing ourselves for His coming. I am particularly fond of today’s readings as I took St. John the Baptist as my Patron Saint when I was confirmed in the Catholic Church. I had always been a big fan of St. Joan of Arc and my husband and I were both convinced that I would take her as my Patron Saint. I loved her courage and determination – and that she was a WOMAN!
I decided, however, at some point that I identified more with St. John the Baptist. He was a little odd and a little outspoken. This suited me just fine. Like St. Joan of Arc, I also appreciated his courage and conviction. I suppose what struck me about St. John the Baptist is that he would never witness the resurrection of Christ and his beliefs stemmed from his trust in his faith and what he knew from scripture. He is, of course, said to have ‘leapt’ in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary entered and was present while pregnant with Jesus.
I like to think of the need for honesty and trust in my faith much like St. John the Baptist displayed. Additionally, St. John was unafraid to express his faith and his need for the utmost in humility. Its a wonderful lesson for each and every one of us.
I also loved today’s readings from Isaiah 40:
A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
When I was in my early thirties, my grandmother on my Mother’s side of the family died and was hospitalized before I could get to see her. I was located in New Orleans and she was living in Toronto. I did, however, have the opportunity to speak with her prior to her passing.
I recall the last words she said to me were:
Keep on the straight and narrow.
In my late teens and early twenties, I had been pretty much off the straight and narrow for some time. For her to say this to me was a confirmation of her belief that I was – finally – ‘on the straight and narrow’. I drift from time to time, but I like to think that overall I’ve managed to keep on the path of decency as a human being. Thankfully, my faith has helped keep me there and be my compass. I am always reminded of these last words of my Nana when I read this passage from Isaiah.