After torrential rain houses were infested underwater and bridges washed away, roads were eroded with pot holes and nothing on the waterway would escape being reshaped. When the water had receded the next step was to mop up before any reconstruction could be restored and the state of recovery would follow suit. Demolition and removal damaged stuff is a slow process and it is tiring and a boring job but it is necessary for regrowth.
Advent is the time for each individual to look deep in our heart to see how we have been journeying with God and with others. It calls us to look into our inner life to see whether we have been enriched with God's grace or we have been infested and eroded by the business of life causing no time for daily prayers and when occasionally we pray we find that it is boring with much distractions. Advent calls us to correct our ways of life and re-examine our relationships with God on the spirit of the preaching of the Messenger of God- John the Baptist.
John calls us to simplify our lives. He himself lived simply, wore camel's hair, leather belt and ate locusts and honey. It is a life free from attachment of the world's materials. Free from the world's attachment means that the world is not our true home, we are only passing by; our true home is with the loving God. John's mind was clear and has more time to discern about the spiritual life and that abled him to recognize Jesus who is the Son of God, Saviour of the world, who comes with the Spirit of God in Him and we recognize it at the baptism.
The Messenger began his preaching in the wilderness calling to correct our way of life because in the wilderness animals prey on one another, killing is a way of life and stronger animals rule weaker ones with fear. In the wilderness small animals have no straight roads but use curved tracks, networks combining with winding underground tunnels as a method of survival; these escape routes would have help them evade danger when facing bigger animals. We need escape routes when we are combating our spiritual battles. Our safeguard is the protection of the Lord. Taking shelter in God by means of coming close to God through daily prayers and meditations and receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. Advent is our prayer-time to get closer to God. It is a time to rest in God's love and strengthened by God. God's Messenger calls to fix old roads, old ways of life, eroded by sins, not to make new roads but call to 'Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight' v. 4. Straightened the paths by means of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It really means to walk in the right paths. Redirect our lives, deny our former ways to follow God's ways. When we are doing that we are listening to the voice of the Spirit who quietly whispers into our heart asking for correction. Without the guidance of the Spirit we are unable to walk the righteous paths. Without the power of the Spirit our bad habits will not be conquered. At the baptism we receive the gift of the Spirit and since then she is active in our lives. We need to cooperate with the Spirit to do the repairs, the reconstruction and become a new creation in Jesus.