“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
by Father Felix Kumai, CH (MAJ), USA
The imagery of “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” draws from the great strategic works of the conquerors of the East. They send a herald before them to call people of the countries through which they march to prepare for their approach. A “king’s highway” carries through open land of the wilderness, valleys filled up, and hills levelled, winding bye-paths straightened, for the march of the great army. The wilderness, interpreted in its spiritual application, is the world lying in evil, and making low the mountains and hills is the bringing down of spiritual pride. When the poor in spirit are received into the kingdom of heaven, the valleys are exalted; when soldiers and publicans renounce their special sins, the rough places are made plain and the crooked straight.
Readiness is the current watchword for US military strategy and it is a matter of life and death. It involves having enough people, the right equipment, appropriate training, enough modeling and simulation, proper testing, adequate maintenance, reliable sustainment and enough money. It means the military has the capabilities within its established force structure, as measured by its ability to station, control, man, equip, replenish, modernize, and train its forces in peacetime, while concurrently planning to mobilize, deploy, employ, and sustain them in war to accomplish assigned and to successfully execute its role in the event of a challenge to U.S. interests.
Hohenfels Training Area (HTA) is the largest US Army Europe (USAREUR) maneuver training area and is the home of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) and trains USAREUR Combat Battalions and Task Forces stationed in Europe as well as units from Allied nations and NATO. The garrison offers unparalleled access to training with multinational forces and an outstanding quality of life. The mission is to facilitate realistic force-on-force maneuver training. There are about 2,231 trainees in the area on any given day. This creates the Ready Force that can be called upon at any given moment, which is consistent with the Advent theme of preparedness that Isaiah and John the Baptist called the people to, in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
Father Kumai is an active-duty Army Chaplain currently serving Soldiers and their families at US Army Garrison Bavaria, Hohenfels, Germany.