• 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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Saturday, 12 December 2020 13:38

Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday - 2020

Written by Fr Prakash Menezes SVD

 

Third Sunday in Advent

Year B

Readings: Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11; 1 Thess 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28

A Witness to Speak for the Light

 

Fr Prakash Menezes SVD 150The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, the Sunday of Joy. As we are moving closer to the feast of God becoming one among us, we are invited to live in joy. The second reading from the first letter of St Paul to Thessalonians invites us to be always happy. Joy is the essential element of Christmas. What does it mean to be joyful? I think the Gospel today gives us an explanation through the testimony of John the Baptist.

As we see, John the Baptist, is being questioned about his authenticity. He has been asked by the religious authorities of his time to explain how he is performing religious activities - baptising in the river Jordan, preaching repentance - without proper licence (in today’s terminology)! John does not even liken himself to any of the prophets, let alone as Christ(!), rather he says, quoting Prophet Isaiah, “I am a voice that cries in the wilderness: make a straight way for the Lord.” Such a humble, yet direct reply, which can come only from a convinced heart. John knew his vocation as the ‘voice crying in the wilderness,’ he knew he was called to ‘prepare a way for the Lord,’ and he joyfully accepted it.

Joy is a feeling that becomes real when we accept ourselves, as we are, with our strengths and weaknesses, with our giftedness and learnings, with our healings and sufferings; joy comes from within!

As we are celebrating this Sunday of joy, may we walk the way of John the Baptist. Let us prepare a way for the Lord in our own hearts. Let joy abound in us as we move forward to the coming celebrations. For God has called us and we will not fail, for God takes care of us (1 Thes 5:24).

Knowing God takes care of us can make us complacent, in the sense, we can fall into a trap of assuming that things will work out, let me take it easy, God will work it out! No, that is not how God takes care of us! John the Baptist, once again, gives us an example: we are called to stand up to who we are. We need to witness to the light; light of God becoming one among us. Only and only then we will experience the real joy.

Witnessing to the light is explained through the mission mandate of the Messiah:

  • Be filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
  • Bring Good News to the poor.
  • Mend the broken hearted.
  • Proclaim liberty to captives.
  • Freedom for prisoners.
  • Inaugurate the Lord’s year of favour, etc.

We are partakers of this mandate. This mandate helps us focus on our mission towards inherent joy. And it is said, there is joy in giving! So, let us follow the example of John the Baptist, accept ourselves as we are and prepare our hearts for the joy that is coming to us through our Lord’s birth and be a witness to the Light, that is set to fill our world. Amen.