Awakening Our Hearts to Compassion by Sr. Marilyn Hettinger

On this third week of Advent we wait with joy anticipation for the coming of Christ.  We are called to reform our lives in order to make way for Jesus.  We trust that God rejoices over those who turn back to goodness and love.  Everyone makes mistakes and at times we may be led astray.  The joyful news is that we can have a new start.  God always calls us back with mercy and love.
The Old Testament reading proclaims joy and gratitude for the saving presence of God.  There is no fear, only trust in the goodness of God.  The prophet speaks of the return of a sinful people to God.  The people rejoice and sing praises to the Holy One.  They are reconciled with God, and God rejoices over them.
(Zephanian 3 14-18a)
John the Baptist touches the hearts of listeners with his preaching on the coming judgment of God.  People from all walks of life come forward asking, “What are we to do?”  John responds by challenging the people to examine their lives and see if they need to make changes in order to be more compassionate and just.  John proclaims the Good News to the crowd that, “One who is more powerful that i is coming.”  And he makes clear that moral conversion is necessary in order to prepare for the coming of the Messiah.
(Luke 3: 10-18)
Call to mind those attitudes and behaviors that you would like to change because they damage your relationships within your family, with your friends, and your relationship with God.
And so we pray:  Come, Lord Jesus, awaken our hearts to the call of conversion, so that we may be reading for your coming.  In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.

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