THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(Rose/Violet) Cycle C/Year II (December 13, 2015)
Zep 3:14-18/Phil 4:4-7/Lk 3:10-18
John the Baptist was the forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus the Lord. He was sent to prepare the way of Jesus, the Savior. Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people (Lk 3:18). His message was divided into three kinds by a famous exegete in the name of William Barclay.
The first message of John demands the people to share what they have with one another. Barcklay says that it is a social gospel which lays it down that God will never absolve the man who is content to have too much while others have too little. This means that it a moral and social obligation of anybody to share what he has with the needy because it is evil and injustice to wallow in riches and comfort while seeing his neighbor dying of hunger and in misery. As Christians all of us are obliged to take care of our neighbors because we all belong to one big family of Christ. In Christ we are all brothers and sisters and we have one God as our Father. It is then our obligation to help others especially the needy according to our own capacity and to their own needs.
In his second message, John orders a man, not to leave his job, but to work out his own salvation by doing that job as it should be done. Let the tax-collector be a good tax-collector; let the soldier be a good soldier. It is a man’s duty to serve God where God has set him. This means that there is no need for anybody to do great things. What is expected by God is that we do our ordinary obligations in life in accordance to the Will of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ and of His Catholic Church. We cannot simply do things our own way. If we do this, we will always fall into temptations and sins as our tendency is usually selfish and sinful. There is a need for us to fulfill any obligation that our personal situation demands from us and we have to do it not only legally but also morally. It means we have to fulfill our daily obligations by glorifying God through them.
The third message of John reminds us that Jesus is coming back and that He will come as King to judge the living and the dead. We should not fear His judgment day if we are doing our daily obligations according to God’s Will. On the other hand, if we do not do what we ought to do as Christians, then His second coming will be a condemnation for us.
We are now in the third week of Advent season and we should be in a half way preparing for the special way of coming of the Messiah. We must always remember that the success of Christmas day and season depends not on the gifts and parties but rather on whether Jesus is born to us or not this Christmas. He will be born to us in our hearts if we have prepared well for His coming. Preparation means repentance and conversion, avoidance of evil and performance of good works. These we have to do daily with the clear intention of making ourselves worthy cribs of baby Jesus this coming Christmas. If until now we have not yet begun the preparation, let us ask the intercession of our Blessed Mother to make us strong enough like her to commit ourselves to deny ourselves and to follow Christ by serving our needy neighbors.