Third Sunday of Advent (December 16, 2018)

In today’s Gospel we continue to experience John the Baptist urging us to conversion. He tells us to give of our abundance, have a sense of integrity in our daily activities, and know who we are and who Our Messiah is. St. Francis de Sales notes:

John the Baptist is too great a lover of truth to be carried away by ambition. He informs those who came to him that he is not the Messiah. He tells us, we must look into our actions, reforming those that are not of good intentions and perfecting those that are.

John the Baptist was a firm rock, a man possessed of unshakable stability in the midst of changing circumstances He has courage to admit who he is. Indeed, he who truly knows himself is not annoyed when he is held and treated for what he is. Surely, it is a sign of great interior conversion when God gives us light to know who we are.

To be a Christian is the most beautiful title we can give ourselves. Yet, it is not enough to be called a Christian. We must live in a way that one recognizes clearly in us a person who loves God with his or her whole heart. One who keeps the Commandments and frequents the sacraments, and who does things worthy of a true Christian.

When we know we are loved, we are compelled to love in return. So it is when we live our life in Christ. The sacred love of Christ presses down upon us in a special way to have us share our abundance with others. Compassion makes us share the sufferings, sorrows and affections of those we love. Mothers and fathers suffer because of the great afflictions of their children. The dearer one is to us the deeper one’s welfare enters into our heart. Whether their welfare is sad or joyful, we commiserate with them. Our goal is to act with only one intention: conforming ourselves to the true image of God in us. For the reason why Jesus came, was to show us our true self in God.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales.)