Call to worship

Today, John the Baptist reminds us that we must prepare the way of the Lord by straightening out all of the crooked pathways of our lives. The straightened way will lead us to God.

  • To the point: John proclaims that we must “prepare the way of the Lord” by repenting. Isaiah and John describe repentance as a leveling and a straightening out of the uneven and crooked shape of our lives. They call us to ask whether our path is taking us closer to God as well as opening for others the way to God. Then “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 3: 1-6) to the first reading: Isaiah gives us a vision of the eschatological end times when the full flowering of repentance is made visible.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: GPS devices take the meandering out of our trips and guarantee smooth travel toward our destination. Repentance is the “GPS” of our Gospel journey

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 3: 1-6)

The word of God came to John.

In our chaos, Lord, oh, let us hear once again
the Baptist crying out to us.
“Prepare the way, make straight the paths.
Every valley filled and hills made low.
All flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
God of constant newness,
carve fresh roads into our wilderness:
into climate and racial emergency.
Let our whole life point to Jesus.
He is born here, is with us now.
Jesus, please turn our deserts into gardens.

The First Reading

(Baruch 5: 1-9)

For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low.

Awaken us. Help us shed our clothes of mourning.
Help us shake off our misery.
Show your splendor in glorious robes.
Give us a new name, O Jesus.
Please give us your name, Peace.

The Second Reading

(Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11)

That your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge
and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value.

Our Father, you know our needs.
So please, give us, this day, every kind
of wisdom and knowledge, discernment and love.
Please, we ask you, continue to complete
the good work you began is us
until the day of the coming of Christ Jesus.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection