Standing on top of a hill I cast my eyes to the horizon afar and catch the beautiful view in front of me. I see mountains covering mountains. I see taller trees create shade that block sun's rays to the smaller ones while the smaller trees try to reach out for the sun's rays. The sun's rays change the colour of the leaves creating the golden shade under its wings. Within the shade there are different patches of colour patterns that blend with different colours. Some are dark green; others are bright and others are dark but shining. The scenery gives so much pleasure to the eyes of the beholder. Animal trails look like threats from a net work of their movements. They disappear when the wind blows and that makes the trees play the game of hide and seek.
On my left is an ocean of waves that creates never ending ribbons of white. The ribbons move steadily one after the other. Sometimes they blend together and then separate again. Closer to me I can see water evaporate from the ocean and it forms a happy cloud dancing in the sky.
The view would be less attractive if all mountains were the same height and all trees gave the same colour. The natural landscape would look dead and boring if all the animal trails ran straight and there were no winding roads, high and low valleys and hills. This is not what St John the Baptist had in mind when suggested to us.
Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low, winding ways will be straightened and rough roads made smooth. Lk 3,4
The opening prayer of the second Sunday of Advent clarifies the above statement
Remove things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy, so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory.
The scenery is enjoyable but no one could imagine that hiding under dead bark are scorpions, cobras hiding under rocks and deadly spiders waiting to catch prey. The danger is beyond prediction and no one knows when it will strike. John the Baptist used his personal experience in the wilderness to tell us that scenery is good to look at but not to live in because there are hidden poisons and venom where we least expect it. John names a number of things that hinder us from recognizing Christ in our world. He asks us to think straight, to follow a straight way, to conduct an upright and honest life style. John requests us to remove the mountains of work and to remove our burdens of life. John expects us to rearrange our time table to balance between work and prayer. John invites us to say prayer with joy and spread the good news wide and far and finally to increase God's love day by day. If we do that we will enjoy life more fully and see that the salvation of God is within our reach.