Sunday, December 17, 2017

"I believe some people-- lots of people-- pray through the witness of their lives, through the work they do, the friendships they have, the love they offer people and receive from people. Since when are words the only acceptable form of prayer?”

“The greatest way to witness is through the life you live. Let the radiance of your Christian life be such that it will make [others] ask questions about your [faith].” ― Billy Graham: (born November 7, 1918: is an American evangelical Christian evangelist)

Gospel Text: (JN 1:6-8, 19-28)
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, "Who are you?"
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, "I am not the Christ."
So they asked him,
"What are you then? Are you Elijah?"
And he said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."
So they said to him,
"Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?"
He said:
"I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
'make straight the way of the Lord,'"
as Isaiah the prophet said."
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
"Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?"
John answered them,
"I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

The Third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday: Gaudete means "Rejoice." This reminds us that in the midst of our waiting and anticipation for the coming of the Lord we are to be joyful.

And so we reflect on what it is to be joyful: Where is joy found? Our instinct tells us that true joy is everlasting and eternal. However, our personal experiences suggest otherwise: joy can be fleeting. For instance, we may wish to have and work hard to have a new car or a better home: there is excitement when the car is new, when the house is new. However, after some time, our liking wavers and we wish for a better and newer car and house.

So we ask ourselves, "Where do we find our joy? Where do we find lasting joy?" As we read the Gospel reading about the coming and ministry of John the Baptist we may wonder what is so joyful about this man from the wilderness, preaching repentance for sins and conversion. What is so joyful about repentance and conversion?

We may have simply equated joy with happiness or contentment; true joy should be more than that.

Where is true joy to be found? John came out of the wilderness "to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light so that all might believe through him." John came as "the voice crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord." John came to introduce us to the Light which will bring us true joy.

Let us pray that like John we may be faithful in witnessing and testifying for Christ. May we grow more and more in this commitment so that we may find true and lasting joy in Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment