To prepare the way for Christ's coming this Christmas, we must remove mountains of sin, fill in death-valleys of emptiness, make crooked, labyrinthine ways straight, and knock off the rough edges of our relationships and attitudes (see Lk 3:4-6). In other words, it's humanly impossible to prepare the way of the Lord. Only God Himself can do it. He will do it by convicting us of our sins, especially through prophecy, which will penetrate, divide, and judge the thoughts and reflections of our hearts (Heb 4:12).
Prophecy communicates what God is communicating when He is communicating it. Prophecy can be expressed in words, songs, dramas, lifestyle, and in pictures. There are certain prophetic pictures (sometimes called icons) which have led people to repent and prepare their lives for Jesus. Some of these are pictures of Jesus crucified, Jesus risen, the Good Shepherd, Jesus at the door (Rv 3:20), the infant of Prague, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Baby Jesus, etc.
In today's first readings, we see pictures of Jesus, the leaping Lover (Sg 2:8) and singing Lord (Zep 3:17). In today's Gospel reading, we see the picture of Jesus, the Baby in Mary's womb (Lk 1:42). Look at a prophetic picture of Jesus, especially one of the Sacred Heart, the Baby in the manger, or the Fetus-Baby in the womb. Look at Jesus repeatedly until the sword of prophecy pierces your heart and leads you to repent and prepare the way for Christmas.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2010 through January 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010.