WATCH: What does it mean to prepare a highway for our God?

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A cloudy landscape of the winter desert at Joshua Tree National Park. (Shutterstock)


The Prophet Isaiah cries out, “Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” (Is 40:3). What does the verse mean? The second century Christian theologian Origen says, “The Lord wants to find in you a path by which he can enter into your souls and make his journey.” The way, he says, is made straight by contemplation and action. First, in contemplation, we ponder the great eternal truths. Then, in action, we live out our lives in conformity with that truth which has been contemplated.

My Daily Visitor reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent.

Isaiah goes on to say, “Every valley shall be lifted up, / every mountain and hill made low; / The rugged land shall be a plain, / the rough country, a broad valley” (v. 4). The hills and valleys of our hearts are the obstacles to contemplating God and living our lives in union with him.


Lord Jesus, my heart is full of worn and serpentine paths. Make the twisted ways of my memory smooth, healing all that does not belong to you or your kingdom. Amen.


Plan a time this week to go to confession. Make a good examination of conscience, trying to see things as they really are from the perspective of eternity.

This meditation first appeared in My Daily Visitor: Advent 2023. Discover the light of Christ this Advent with free daily reflections sent to your inbox. Sign up here. Purchase the companion devotional at the OSV Catholic bookstore.

Father Patrick Briscoe

Father Patrick Briscoe, O.P., is a Dominican friar and the editor of Our Sunday Visitor. Along with his Dominican brothers, he is host of the podcast Godsplaining and a co-author of "Saint Dominic’s Way of Life: A Path to Knowing and Loving God." He is also the author of the OSV seasonal devotional, "My Daily Visitor."