Saturday, December 15, 2018
3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
December 16, 2018 - 3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Cycle C. Rose/Violet.
Zep 3:14-18a / Phil 4:4-7 / Lk 3: 10-18
[Misa de Gallo, White, with Gloria]
FROM THE 1ST READING: Zep 3: 14- 15
Cry out with joy, 0 daughter of Zion; rejoice, 0 people of Israel! Sing joyfully with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! Yahweh has lifted your sentence and has driven your enemies away. Yahweh, the King of Israel, is with you. Do not fear any misfortune.
GOSPEL READING: Lk 3: 10- 18
The people asked John, "What are we to do? And John answered, "If you have two coats, give one to the person who has none; and if you have food, do the same."
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and asked him "Master, what must we do?" John said to them, "Collect no more than your fixed rate." People serving as soldiers asked John, "What about us? What are we to do?" And he answered, "Don't take anything by force or threaten the people by denouncing them falsely. Be content with your pay."
The people were wondering about John's identity, "Could he be the Messiah?" Then John answered them, "I baptize you with water, but the one who is coming will do much more: he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. As for me, I am not worthy to untie his sandal. He comes with a winnowing fan to clear the threshing floor and gather the grain into his barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out."
With these and many other words John announced the Good News to the people.
The Third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday: Gaudete means "Rejoice." This reminds us that in the midst of our waiting and anticipation for the coming of the Lord we are to be joyful.
The role of John the Baptist, the Lord's Precursor, was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. He did so by announcing the Good News, baptizing people in the River Jordan with a baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Many came and John preached repentance for wrong-doing.
When John was imprisoned by King Herod, his disciples asked Jesus, "Are you one we are to expect or should we wait for another?" Quoting the Prophet Isaiah, Jesus replied to them, "Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor are given good news." (Lk 7: 20 - 22) The hoped-for Messiah has indeed come.
In our world, we have similar signs of fulfillment of God's coming and kingdom silently unfolding and taking shape, if we only look closely enough: people who initiate dialogue for peaceful solutions to conflict, governments which work for better and more equitable trade and labor relations, well-meaning people who advocate good governance, nations who work to protect the environment and to fight dreaded diseases. And these efforts take place even in the midst of great hostility and opposition.
But people who continue to hope do not lose courage because of the depth of their convictions. They continue to look forward to the day they can be at peace and celebrate.
It is this kind of hope we need, convinced that God's promise of salvation will indeed come true. In the Gospel reading John told people to be fair and just, really to care for one another, to do good and avoid evil. John told them to live morally upright lives in whatever profession they may be. This is how we prepare for the Lord's Kingdom and coming.
May our celebration of Advent in preparation for the Lord's coming kindle our hope even as we continue to pray and wait.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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