Yesterday, Saturday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception; which brings to our attention our Holy Mother Mary. Today we heard the readings from the Gospel of Luke that pertained to St. John the Baptist. ‘Prepare the way of Lord’ we hear repeated from the prophet Isaiah – ‘make straight his paths’. St. John, the last and greatest of the Old Testament prophets heralded the coming of our savior – it was his reason for life. Mary, thirty years earlier, in a very intimate way, actually did what Isaiah proclaimed; by her fiat she prepared the way for our Lord to arrive; by her humble submission to God’s will she made sure the path was straight for his coming. She made sure that all flesh could see the salvation of God – Jesus.
Mary and St John are linked closely in the economy of salvation. Both, each in their own way, show us what it means to bring Christ to those around us. Both submitted themselves to the will of God. Both allowed their lives to be an instrument in the salvation of mankind by allowing Christ to work through them. Both, lived for others; not only for Christ, but because they lived for Christ, they lived for those Christ loved – mankind.
This is a perfect lesson for this time of the year, Advent, when we prepare our hearts to receive the coming of Christ. Let’s pray to Mary and to St. John the Baptist for help in bringing to reality in our lives what St. Paul wrote to the Philippians: ‘God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.’