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Key words and phrases: repentance, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight, shall be filled, made low, made straight, made smooth, all flesh shall see the salvation of God
To the point: John proclaims that we must "prepare the way of the Lord" by repenting. Isaiah and John both describe repentance as a leveling and a straightening out of the uneven and crooked shape of our lives. They call us to ask whether our path is taking us closer to God as well as opening up for others the way to God. Then "all flesh shall see the salvation of God."
To the First Reading: Isaiah gives us a vision of the eschatological end times when the full flowering of repentance is made visible.
To Experience: GPS devices have taken the meandering out of our road trips and guaranteed smooth travel toward our destination. Repentance is the "GPS" of our Gospel journey toward final glory.