Marking the second week of Advent, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel of San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico said that “just as we decorate our homes for Christmas, so also should we prepare for the coming of the Savior into our hearts through sincere repentance, which leads to a good sacramental confession and a change in attitude.”
Commenting on the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord,” Bishop Arizmendi said that Advent is a moment to prepare for the coming of Jesus by removing obstacles and straightening our ways, so that salvation can come to all.”
In his homily, the Bishop recalled that “there are many things, both in family and personal life, and in society, that are not straight but rather ‘crooked,’ and they must be made right in order to bring about the changes we all desire.” As examples he cited corruption, deceit, fraud, tax-evasion, overcharging for services, divorce, marital infidelity and the abuse of sexuality.
Bishop Arizmendi also said that “many valleys need to be exalted; that is, there are gaps and empty spaces, deficiencies and disrespect,” and “there are mountains and hills that need to be laid low.” In other words, “pride and arrogance” that prevents peaceful coexistence.
The Mexican bishop challenged Catholics to make this Christmas meaningful for their families by examining what need to be changed in how we treat each other.
“Just as we plan for things to do while on vacation, we should also make plans for this season, such as reading the Bible, especially the passages related to the Savior’s birth. And if this is done as family together with the children, better yet,” he suggested.
“More important than a Christmas tree or decorations and gifts, put up a nice Nativity scene in your home, your business or your school. That is a practical way to remind ourselves of the reason for the season and a way to give witness to our faith in Jesus,” the Bishop concluded.