Third Sunday of Advent (December 11, 2016)

Today’s readings reveal that God’s saving mission is achieved through Jesus Christ, who establishes God’s kingdom on earth. St. Francis de Sales notes:

In today’s Gospel, St. John the Baptist guides his disciples, not to himself, but to Jesus. Jesus had as his mission to be Savior. True Light of justice, He enlightened the land of the Church by the radiance of His life. He came down to our humanity to fill us with His divinity, satiating us with his goodness, raising us up to his dignity, and giving us the divine existence of “children of God.” Constantly He lifts the heavy and sluggish spirit of the poor and humble, giving them His own Spirit so they can do great things.

Our Savior teaches us that it is not enough to be called a Christian. I must live in such a manner that others clearly recognize in me a person who loves God with my whole heart. True servants of God, like John the Baptist, lead others to God by their words and deeds. Let us be attentive to John’s example. He teaches us that our true success in life is to guide others, not to ourselves, but to Christ. Under Him, others, as well as ourselves, must learn and do what is necessary for His love and service that lead to stability.

St. John the Baptist was a rock, immovable in the midst of all the waves and tempests of tribulations. He was as joyous in the winter of trouble as in the springtime of peace. We, on the contrary, are reeds tossed about by every mood and humor. We allow the winds of wealth, honors and material comforts to toss us about. In worldly things we can say, “I have a moderate amount, I have enough.” As for spiritual goods, we can never have enough of them. Like John the Baptist, let us continually incline our hearts to receive the divine love that Our Savior desires to give us. For it is God’s love that allows us to bring to others God’s kingdom, where mercy, justice and peace reign.

(Adapted mainly from L. Fiorelli, ed. Sermons of St. Francis de Sales)