3rd Sunday of Advent (B)


3rd. Sunday of Advent (B) Jn 1:6-8, 19-28 – Dec. 17, 2017

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.“

A simple story we hear today: "There was a man named John, sent by God to give testimony to the Light so that all might believe through him." There are three key words that give us a clear idea of who John the Baptist was, the verbs sent, give testimony, and believe. Then when people want to know more about the reason why is he baptizing, he quotes the Old Testament Isaiah:"I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord." Being sent identifies an apostle, and giving testimony identifies a martyr. And John was both. He was an apostle because he was sent to proclaim the coming of the Christ and his kingdom, and he was a martyr because he gave testimony with his blood to the truth. As John pointed Jesus as the Lamb of God we came to believe.

Like John the Baptist, we members of the Church, bishops, priests, and lay people as well, are also called to be apostles and witnesses. This is our common mission as baptized. We share our faith with others and they believe because of our life testimony. People need new John the Baptists to point to Jesus and we are called to be John the Baptist for them today.

Young people, children, adults, believers and non believers need our witness to Christ in words, but especially in deeds. Only a few days before Christmas let us think of something important or simple we can do in our parish, in our neighborhood, or in our own families, to let people know that Jesus once came, is among us and will come again. No matter how great or little the action, but that can help others to be happy and can help them realize that God loves them.

We call this third Sunday of Advent “Dominica Gaudete”, Rejoice Sunday, because the message Saint Paul gives us in his Letter to the Thessalonians, in the second reading is: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” Our message and our lives must lead our friends and others to rejoice in the Lord.

How can we combine give witness and rejoice? I would like to share with you a little funny story I once heard from a homilist: A professor at the Seminary was trying to teach his students to make their facial expressions harmonize with what they are speaking about. "When you speak of heaven," he said, "let you face light up, let it be irradiated with a heavenly gleam, let your eyes shine with reflected glory. But when you speak of Hell – well, then, your ordinary face will do."

St. Paul teaches us we will find joy by praying without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstance and refraining from every kind of evil. Any way, let´s smile, we celebrate today Rejoice Sunday. But keep your smile at least for the next two weeks. And do not forget, Rejoice always.

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