Climate change and the Covid 19 pandemic impose fear for the entire world. Our present world needs consolation. Relying on the way of the world, such as a vaccine, would only lessen fear, grief and anxiety; it would not destroy fear and grief. The way of the Lord brings comfort and hope and certainty. 'Console my people, console them' says the Lord Is 40,1. The way of the Lord consoles our hearts. It helps us to look deep into our hearts to see what barriers stop us following the way of the Lord.
Boat people in the 80's fled Vietnam after the war ended. Some knew of their destinations, but not the way. Unfortunately, many of them lost their way, and lost their lives on the high seas. Knowing a destination was vital, but knowing the way there even more essential. In our faith journey, our destination is Jesus, but we all struggle to find the way to Jesus. Fortunately, God comes to our help. God sent John the Baptist to show us the way. Jesus once told us that 'He is the way, the truth and the life' Jn 14,6 . Jesus is the way. John is not the way, but John knew God's way, and John pointed it out for us to follow. John told us to look deep into the 'wilderness of our own heart' and make necessary changes. When John called us to prepare the way for the Lord, John made it clear that there were at least two ways: God's way and the way of the world. John called us to repent, because obviously the way of the world contradicts God's way. There is no other option, but repentance is the way leading us to reconcile to God and to one another. The way of the Lord leads us to look for things from above and everlasting life. The way of the world leads us to things from below with their fear, grief, anxiety and misery.
The way of the Lord is love- Love God and love our neighbours Mk 12,31. God's way is perfect. It aims to lift us up from a sinful state to a virtuous state, and then eventually to the heavenly state. Inspired by God's way, empowered by God's grace, guided by God's Spirit, countless noble and heroic acts have changed disastrous situations to save lives. These heroic actions confirm that God's way brings life and love and peace.
It is the way of the world that needs changing, not God's. Jesus is both the way, and Leader of the way; John is His assistant, His voice. Jesus is the way, not for Himself, but for us, His disciples. Those who choose to walk on His way certainly will come to Him. Those who come to Jesus will walk on the way that leads to God's kingdom. Following the way of the world, there may be many complexities, leading followers to go around, in circles, because this way belongs to the world. It is conditioned by the material world, which one day will perish.
Preparing our own heart means to long for real life and peace from Jesus. By changing our former way of life, adopting the way Jesus taught- love God and love our neighbours- we will have real life and peace. We can't do it alone; everything is possible with God's grace.