VATICAN CITY – Advent is a time of waiting and expectation, Pope Francis said Sunday, but this season also requires a “journey of conversion.”
“To prepare the way for the Lord who comes, it is necessary to take into account the demands of conversion,” Francis said in his Angelus address Dec. 9.
Conversion requires changing your attitude, Francis explained. “It leads to humbly recognizing our mistakes, our infidelities, and defaults.”
The pope focused on the invitation of St. John the Baptist, who proclaimed a baptism of repentance as a voice of one crying out in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
“The Baptist invited the people of his time to conversion with force, vigor, and severity,” Francis said. “Yet he knew how to listen, he knew how to perform gestures of tenderness, gestures of forgiveness towards the multitude of men and women who came to him to confess their sins and be baptized.”
“Even today, the disciples of Jesus are called to be his humble, but courageous witnesses to rekindle hope,” the pope said.
The pope suggested that each person asks, “How can I change something in my attitude to prepare the way for the Lord?”
One necessary step is “making concrete gestures of reconciliation with our brothers, asking for forgiveness of our faults,” he explained. “The Lord helps us in this, if we have good will.”
Christians are called to help people understand that “despite everything, the kingdom of God continues to be built day by day with the power of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“May the Virgin Mary help us to prepare the way of the Lord day by day, beginning with ourselves,” Francis prayed.