Third Sunday in Advent

Scripture Readings:  Isaiah 6:1-2, 10-11;  Thessalonians 5:16-24;  John 1:6-8, 19-28


Don’t you love a “Gospel of the Lord” in which the Lord does not utter a single word?

Today’s Gospel centers on John the Baptist who, when asked, “Who are you?” says, he has come to “testify to the Light.”  The Light of course being “The Christ, The Savior.”  Says John the Baptist, “I am a voice calling people to know the goodness of God, to know the Love of God, to know the Favor of God and so much more.”

John the Baptist knew who he was and who he was not.

Advent calls us to know who we are:  Christians, Disciples of Jesus!

And Paul gives us a few characteristic of such a Christian:  “Rejoice always, pray always, give thanks always.”

This might sound like a daunting task, but we are also reminded in the Readings today, “Rejoice heartily in the Lord” (Isaiah); and (Paul to the Thessalonians) “The One (God) who calls you is faithful, and He will also accomplish it.”

Every day gives us another opportunity for good, to witness to the Gospel, to bring Gospel Joy to another or others.  Because in the end it is not the “Issues of the Day” that are our first concern, rather it is the “the people” whom God would have us see.

Pope Francis urges us to say no to selfishness and spiritual sloth.  Spiritual sloth, there’s a phrase that might have us wondering, what is that?

Sloth, is a kind of Spiritual laziness.  It means not making it a priority to do what we should, or change what we should in ourselves.

Like John the Baptist, we too are called to “testify to the Light” to “testify to the Joy of the Gospel” each day.

Obviously, there are many ways of “testifying to the Light” as a person, family and parish.  We pray that we will continue to do so, with the support of our God who is at work within each of us.

Finally, as an example of testifying to the Light, let me share an email that a parishioner sent me, that is certainly pertinent to this season, it’s entitled:   “Holiday To Do List”

Holiday to do list:

  1. Buy Presents                  becomes                1.  Be Present
  2. Wrap Gifts                        becomes                2.  Wrap someone in a Hug
  3. Send Gifts                         becomes               3.  Send Peace
  4. Shop for Food                becomes              4.  Donate Food
  5. Make Cookies                 becomes               5.  Make Love
  6. See the Lights                 becomes              6.  Be the Light