Gospel Reflection – 2nd Sunday of Advent – Cycle C – Luke 3:1-6  

How do we prepare a way for the Lord?

We do so by using our lives, individually and collectively, roads into the presence of God.

At the centre of our life as monks is the Blessed Sacrament, the presence of Christ within our monastery and offered as our life-giving sustenance every day of the year.

But it is in all the ways of our life that we prepare his way, not just whilst we are at Church. We make his paths straight by the way that we interface with all those around us, and by how we use every moment to develop our relationship with God.

John the Baptist lived a life entirely for God. Every moment, every word, was directed towards him. He was the precursor of monasticism in the Christian Church. In no uncertain terms we monks carry on the ways of the Baptist. Our work is simple; we fast, we try to be economical with our words; we own everything in common and live a simple existence. And we aim to pray at all times.

All of this is designed to focus our path into the presence of God. But none of it is any use if we are unpleasant to those we live with, judgmental or proud. If we live by these traditions but do not have love in our hearts, then we are no more than the pharisees. And the point is that it IS possible to live within these monastic principles and yet come no closer to God because of our hardness, our inhospitable nature, our meanness.

The monastic way of life throws a spotlight on the internal fight of good and evil that is in us all. This is because of the undiluted, immersive nature of it’s setup. But if we are truthful to ourselves, we should all recognize where we might do better. We may use Advent, then, as a way of making our own paths straight.


The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 3:1-6
Glory to you, O Lord.

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 tetrach 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.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.