Every Advent I encounter one of the strongest images of our Advent wait in the scriptures. And every year I marvel that much of the world accomplished it in the 20th century. “Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth.” So Luke’s gospel quotes Isaiah. And much of the world spent much of the 20th century building just such highways. The steepest a US interstate can be is 6%. That took a bit of filling in valleys and blasting out mountains. There’s even such a highway precisely where Isaiah described it, going west up to Jerusalem.
Luke’s gospel quotes Isaiah to describe John and his baptism of repentance. Our own interior preparation is definitely a part of this season’s wait. And we will have an opportunity to experience repentance at our parishes’ joint penance service, this coming Monday, December 6th, at 6pm at St Frances of Rome. Perhaps a wonderful opportunity to fill a pothole or two.