• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 15 December 2017 17:55

Third Sunday of Advent 2017 - Gaudete Sunday

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

Third Sunday of Advent
John 1:6-8. 19-28

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestTo borrow another story from my friend Fr Bel San Luis, SVD; there was this professor in homiletics teaching a group of future preachers on the basics of a good homily. In one of the lessons he said that when you preach about heaven, you should let your face light up with a heavenly beam and let your eyes shine with glory. When you preach about hell, your everyday face will do.

Today we celebrate “Gaudete Sunday”, a Sunday of Rejoicing. That’s why the liturgical colour for today is Pink or Rose. It means that Christmas is really very near. The celebration that we have been preparing for many days is almost at hand.

So as we celebrate this Rejoice Sunday, we see in the gospel that there is a person who is joyful in what he is doing despite the questions and confusions that surround him and that is John the Baptist. His role as the gospel tells us is to testify to the light even if he is not the light. He is there to prepare the way of the Lord through his baptism of repentance.

In the gospel, John the Baptist is being asked about who he is. First, he was asked by the priests and Levites in behalf of the Jews in Jerusalem whether he is the Messiah, and he said that He is NOT the Christ. Most probably because of the manner of his preaching and also how he is living his life that made people to believe that he is the Christ that the people are waiting for. And yet, John made it very clear that he is not the Christ. Then another question came if he is Elijah. Elijah is considered by many Jews as the greatest prophet in the Old Testament and many believed that Elijah will again appear before the coming of the Messiah but John is very quick to point out that he is not Elijah. Lastly, they asked him if he is “The Prophet”. And to this he again says that he is not. So they asked him why does he do what he is doing and that is baptising people. To this John replied that He is the voice that is crying out in the desert and his baptism is just a preparation for the baptism that will be given by the Lord when he comes.

It is obvious that John the Baptist experiences joy in what he is doing. His joy is to follow what God asked him to do. For John, there were times that it may have been difficult. Like today in the gospel, a lot of people are asking him what he is doing and why is he baptising and by what authority he doing these things and he is also being persecuted particularly by Herod and Herodias. And yet, he remains joyful in what he is doing. He didn’t mind if he is just doing a secondary role instead of being the Messiah which he can easily claim if he is greedy.

For us, as Christmas draws near, do we also experience joy in this supposedly joyous season? And when we say joy, it is not the external joy of laughing, hugging and smiling. But more of an internal joy, the feeling of love, peace and hope.

How many times that the days leading up to Christmas are mostly days of stress. Stress from wrapping gifts, attending Christmas functions from the office, organisations, groups, and even to our own family and relatives.

Sadly, the Christmas season lately have been subjected to so many distractions about what gifts to give, what clothes to wear during Christmas functions, travelling arrangements, scheduling arrangements, what to cook and so many things. I believe that during these last days before Christmas, let us just focus on one thing and that is to experience joy because the very reason that Jesus came to this world is to give us joy that our salvation is near at hand.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 16 December 2017 10:11