Homily for the third Sunday of Advent - Year C - Lk. 3:10-18


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"The multitudes asked to John, "What then shall we do?" And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."


"As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."


"So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people."




Homily:


"The multitudes asked to John, "What then shall we do?"


We are in mid-Advent, midway in our march toward Christmas, toward our meeting with our Lord Jesus Christ. We have already covered half of the time that the Church puts before us to prepare us for the feast of Christmas. We know also that there remains an equal amount of time to dispose our hearts to welcome the grace of God on this birthday of the Lord.


But what have we done since the beginning of this Advent 2003? Have we done anything to benefit from this time of grace? It is now the time of grace. Now is the favorable time. « How it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. » (Rm. 13:11)


"The multitudes asked to John, "What then shall we do?" And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."


Perhaps, we do not know what is necessary for us to do in order to prepare us to the meet of our Lord? Maybe have we the same question as the contemporaries of John Baptist: «What then shall we do? »


John Baptist answered: «He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.» This answer is clear, and it is always typical.


There are always some poor people among us... However, there exists a poverty which we do not always like to notice today: it is the poverty of the heart! Surely, we notice the material poverty of some people, and we do all what we are able in order to remedy this; but the spiritual poverty, we do not dare to notice it...


What is this spiritual poverty? It is the lack of real and true values in the hearts of the people we are meeting every day. This is a poverty which we do not want to notice, because we do not possess the courage to testify of our faith and the Christian values that are in us! This makes us uncomfortable? Our preparation for meeting the Lord should show by our testimony of our personal faith! If we want to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord Jesus, we must have the courage to testify of our faith to others in need. We need to notice the spiritual poverty of our neighbor! But, «when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth? » (Lk. 18:8)


"So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people."


Testifying of our faith is announcing, like John Baptist, the Good News without fear of what people will say! Behold what we are going to do in the course of this Eucharist: the eucharistic Prayer shows it! The prayer which we address to the Father all together, allows to proclaim our faith in Jesus present on the altar. We are waiting his coming at the time of the eucharistic communion: let us prepare to receive Jesus in showing our faith with courage!


Let us ask Mary to help us in our testimony: Mary is the one who always believed in the Word of God, and her dearest desire is helping us in our testimony! Let us receive Jesus by a worthy manner, with respect and in silence! Don't forget that it is God himself whom we are receiving!



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