The Preaching of John the Baptist

Sunday Gospel Reflection
Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)
Luke 3:10-18 | December 12, 2021

The Preaching of John the Baptist
Josie Gonzalez

Today is Gaudete Sunday o Linggo ng Kagalakan. We celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, pangatlong Linggo ng Adbiyento, at which time we receive the gift of joy. Advent is waiting; it is a great moment of rejoicing as we prepare for Christmas, ang kapanganakan ng ating mahal na Panginoon.

Papaano ba natin pinaghahandaan ang Kapaskuhan? Sa mga makulay na palamuti at ilaw na kumukutikutitap? Mag naggagandahang parol at Christmas tree? Mga regalo para sa mga inaanak at mga mahal sa buhay? Ito ba ang nagbibigay sigla sa atin? Saan ang regalo natin para kay Hesus? Ano ang regalo natin sa Kanya? Nasusukat ba sa materyal na bagay?

Paano pinaghahanda ni John the Baptist ang mga tao? The ‘tax collector’ in us, the ‘soldier’, our leaders in government and in the church? Tayo bilang mamamayan?

John the Baptist reminds us ‘to share and to give’ to those who have less in life, to clothe them and to feed them. Endless giving is the true essence of Advent and Christmas.

Let’s pause for a minute and reflect on this.

John the Baptist said, “someone is coming who is much greater than me.” He has repeatedly reminded us to “pave the way” and “make straight the path” for the one true King—our Messiah—Christ Jesus.

How do we commune with God? How do we respond to all His goodness? Or is the temptation to ‘call the shots’ so great, believing that the richest blessings are from materialism? Yes, what the naked eye now sees are the perishable that give us momentary pleasure and power. But the ‘richest blessings ‘ are eternal when we surrender everything to the Master of our life and inherit His heavenly home.

Are we ready for this? Are we willing to ‘let go and let God’? Let’s think about this…

Gaano ba kalalim ang ating pananampalataya sa Panginoon para tularan ang Kanyang pagkabukas-palad sa kapwa natin?

Do we thank our garbage collectors by segregating our trash and saying ‘thank you’ with some love offering in this season of Advent?

How about the streetsweepers who clean our streets every morning? A ‘good morning’ greeting goes a long way, so does a ‘thank you’ to one who seldom is acknowledged for a job well done. But of course, not dirtying the streets with plastic and other waste is the way to go.

In this ‘new normal’, we love to do online shopping and have food delivered to our homes.
But how do we respond to delivery riders who make this happen? Just get the delivery and that’s it? Pati sukli kukunin pa? Inisip ba natin na ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’ ang hanapbuhay nila? Let’s reward them for their effort and there are many ways of doing this.

How about the homeless? “I was hungry, and you gave me food…I was thirsty, and you gave me drink… I was naked, and you clothed me”, says the Lord. This is a wake-up call for us who see and yet ignore.

This Sunday’s Gospel is about preparedness to accept the Lord and to turn away from the evils of this world. It is telling us to deepen our relationship with the Almighty. It is telling us to raise our awareness of His presence. Are we prepared? Ito na ba ang tinatahak nating daan?

The season of Advent is reminding us of the second coming of Christ. We are reminded to read the signs of the times since Moses. Wars and conflicts, earthquakes, floods, climate change, false prophets, and global socio-economic events have caused deaths and sown fear and anxiety in our lives.

But Advent is joyful waiting, waiting for Christ. Finding Him in our day-to-day life as we do good, as we care for the sick, as we forgive an enemy, as we visit the orphanage, cook for a friend, babysit for a relative, smile and say hello to a stranger—all these are telling signs of God’s movement in our lives. Ramdam ba natin ang Diyos sa ating buhay? Mga tapat na tagasunod ba tayo ni Hesus?

Let’s pray for the gift of waiting not only this Advent but every day of our precious life. If we remain faithful to Christ, we have nothing to fear because His goodness will triumph today and forever.

A blessed Gaudete Sunday!

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