December 7, 2014
Carol Zuegner
Creighton's Department of Journalism
click here for photo and information about the writer


Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 5

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Praying Advent

Today's Advent Prayer

The road imagery in the first reading resonated with me as I just came off two 20-hour bus rides from Omaha to Washington, D.C. and back. The trip took a group of  nearly 60 Creighton students, faculty and staff to the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, a social justice conference of people from Jesuit colleges and high schools across America and from Mexico and Canada.  

The bus rolled through the plains of Iowa, past cities in northern Illinois and through beautiful hilly countryside of Pennsylvania and Maryland. We saw the valleys, mountains, hills and rugged land Isaiah describes. I can picture it as I smile at the joyful way Isaiah spreads the message of good news, of glad tidings and the mental picture of the road becoming straight to welcome the Lord.

Now is the time to prepare for the arrival of Jesus, though we don’t have to wait for Advent. How can I straighten the paths in my own life, the roads that take me to places of selfishness and self-absorption?  I want to, as Isaiah says, “Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God.” How can I make my way to the top of the mountain and have my voice and my actions declare the glad tidings of God?

I am glad for people like John the Baptist who remind us when it’s time to get to work. While the Lord may make straight the paths, we have heavy lifting to do to make sure we are ready to follow.

Our long bus trip to Washington was just a reminder that journeys along winding roads can help us prepare for what’s ahead. Though long, the journey there and back allowed us to focus on what we could do in our own ways to make the world a better place for all of God’s people.
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