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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Sunday of the 3rd Week of Advent Download This Homily

December 16, 2018

Sunday of the 3rd Week of Advent

 

Zephaniah 3:14-18 ;

 Isaiah 12:2-6;

 Philippians 4:4-7;

Gospel LK 3:10-18


The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”


Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.

 Share and be Content

 

We are on the third Sunday of the Advent which is known as Gaudete Sunday which means Sunday of rejoicing.


John The Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was approached first by the crowds, then some tax collectors, then some soldiers who ask him- how to live, what to do and how to be? His answers to the 3 questions the people put to him are: Share with others, be fair and kind and be content.  These 3 ways of being/doing are really one: "Love one another as I have loved you."


So in these days of Advent, we make a greater effort to share with the hungry and homeless, we share with them out of God’s gracious bounty to us.  As we listen to the songs of Advent, we remember how kind God has been to us.   On this Gaudete Sunday we, like the people of ancient Jerusalem and the Philippians to whom Paul wrote in today’s second reading, are invited to: "Rejoice in the Lord always.  I shall say it again: rejoice!"  Let us rejoice, because the Lord is close at hand!


If we will try to ask kids as to what is Christmas for them, perhaps majority of them will answer it’s about the gifts they are going to receive. Christmas is about Santa Clause and the gifts he will give them. Even if they are wrong, I think that is understandable. Being kids their focus is on the material or earthly things. However, we must also slowly point out to them the real essence of Christmas.

 

 In our gospel for this third Sunday of advent John gives us another angle about Christmas that we must seriously look into. When John was asked by the crowd; “What should we do”? John told them; share your cloaks and your food. Then he told the taxmen, stop collecting more than what is prescribed; stop being extortionists and be satisfied with your wages.


I read somewhere that the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are formed by the same water supply. It flows down, clear and cool, from Mount Hermon. The Sea of Galilee makes beauty of its water, for the sea has an outlet. It gets to give. It gathers in its riches that it may pour them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. The Dead Sea, on the other hand, with the same source of refreshing water, is desolate and not clean, for the Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets only to keep. Interestingly, unselfish and selfish people act much the same way. Unselfish people get to give and luxuriate in their generosity while selfish people only get to keep and stagnate into desolation. As Charles M. Schulz says “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”


Through his actions and words, John is telling us that Christmas is not all about the material things of this world. For John, Christmas is about giving and sharing especially to those who are poor who cannot repay our generosity. For John, Christmas is about repentance and changing our ways for the better. John is indirectly telling us not to focus on the material things; he tells us to focus on something that is much deeper and that is the birth of Jesus, our Messiah.


One of the greatest gifts we can give to others is to practice random kindness. In this Christmas Season give a gift that will last, a gift that will endure long after you are gone. Practice random kindness. Go ahead, practice kindness anyway.


Fr. Martin Kuzhivelil CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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