Prepare the (digital) way of the Lord during the rest of Advent season

By John Grosso | Catholic News Service
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

As we approach the halfway point of Advent, we are likely busy with our preparations for a Christmas that will look different this year.

How do we manage all of that? How can we be the voice crying out in the wilderness when we can’t even leave our homes? Put simply: What can we do to prepare this Advent?

The answer: We take to the (digital) streets.

I could easily list the many ways you can enter into this season online: You could participate in a digital rosary, attend a prayer group on Zoom or sign up for eucharistic adoration in one of the late night hours when no one is there.

You can make your creche the centerpiece of your Christmas decorations instead of your tree, you might even try a “reverse Advent calendar” for Catholic Charities. You can do all these things — and they would be fulfilling and an important way to prepare for Christmas.

But when looking at the readings for this Second Week of Advent, one can’t help but be struck by the exhortation to go and prepare the way of the Lord.

I can think of no place that needs that more than social media.

We start by changing the way we react and talk to one another on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and beyond. Remember the person on the other end of that comment is in fact, a person, with a family, with dreams, with fears.

Assume good intentions instead of acting on the impulse to attack. The best way we can prepare for Christ’s coming is by making the only space we can gather in as safe and loving as possible. We must start there, because people are watching.

Catholics can and should be the model for welcoming behavior on social media, but right now, we aren’t. Instead, the secular world looks at how we treat each other online and snickers at our alleged hypocrisy. We can do better, and there is no time like this Advent to try.



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