Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: way of the Lord, John the Baptist appeared in the desert, he will baptize you the Holy Spirit
Connecting the Gospel …
To the point: In the Gospel we are admonished to prepare the “way of the Lord.” What is this “way of the Lord”? It is a life of “holiness and devotion” (Second Reading), a life of “repentance” and “forgiveness" (Gospel), and a life of hearing the “glad tidings” of God's salvation and announcing this “good news” (First Reading) to the world. This is the way John the Baptist lived; this is the way of life into which Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
… to the First Reading: Both the first reading and second readings affirm God’s utter faithfulness in gifting us with “the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,” “awesome deeds we could not hope for,” and continued loving care: God delivers us from guilt and sin and enriches us in every way in Christ.
… to experience: When we have expectations, we are watchful and alert; without expectations, we easily become faint and lackluster. This Sunday’s gospel reminds us that if we want to be watchful and alert for Christ’s coming, we must develop heightened expectation for God’s continuing gift of divine Presence.