Daily Gospel Reflection – Third Sunday of Advent
Friends, on this Gaudete Sunday, we are called to rejoice!
Detach yourself from the anxieties of the world and live in the peace and joy of Christ.
December 12, 2021
Third Sunday of Advent
Gospel: Lk 3:10-18
The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, like those in the time of John the Baptist, we ask: "What should we do?" How should we live our lives?
This question, of course, tells us something else about repentance: that it has to do with action more than simply changing our minds. The spiritual life is, finally, a set of behaviors.
So what does John the Baptist tell us to do? His first recommendation is this: "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none." This is so basic, so elemental—yet so almost thoroughly ignored! In the Church’s social teaching, we find a constant reminder that although private property is a social good, the use of our private property must always have a social orientation.
An early Church Father, St. Basil the Great, expressed the idea in tones that echo John the Baptist: "The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry. The cloak in your wardrobe belongs to the naked. The shoes you allow to rot belong to the barefoot. The money in your vaults belongs to the destitute. You do injustice to every man whom you could help but do not."
So what should we do this Advent, we who seek repentance, we who await the coming of the Messiah? Serve justice, render to each his due, and give to those who are in need.
Reflect: How do you use your private property for the common good?