3rd Sunday of Advent - December 12, 2021

Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, also known in Latin as Gaudete, we are to rejoice for we are more than half way through this season of preparation.  Spread the joy.  This is a dominant theme in the scripture today, with calls to shout it, sing it, cry out with it, making it known to all.  But what good is it just to let others know that we are joyful?  John the Baptist calls us to share what we have with those who have not.  This goes for our joy as well.  In doing so, we spread joy, giving the joy we know in the Lord.  Preparing the way of the Lord by serving others gives everyone joy.

John is asked repeatedly in today’s Gospel, “What should we do?”  “Tax collectors: stop selfishly overcharging others.  Soldiers: act justly and honestly.  Everyone give your spare cloak to someone without one.”  Ditto with your food.  In other words, love your neighbor as yourself.  Truly, it’s better to give than to receive.  For when we give to someone in need, we share in the power of Christ’s salvific mission.

For centuries people had been waiting for the Christ, the Messiah.  They wondered if John was that man.  “No,” he tells them, telling them that, relative to Jesus, he is lower than the lowest servant, for only a  non-Jewish servant was obligated to loosen the master’s sandals.  John’s words foreshadow the reversal we see at the Last Supper, when Jesus not only loosens his disciples’ sandals, but washes their feet and tells them to do the same. 

We rejoice today, for we realize that the Lord is already in our midst.  While remembering our Lord’s birth over two thousand years ago and looking forward to His coming again in glory at the end of time, we prepare our hearts for His presence here today, praying that every day we can express His good news in what we say and do.  May our words and actions witness to the world the true meaning of Christmas.

Love, Peace, Joy,

Fr. Bob


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