What Should We Do?

12-12-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

We celebrate this weekend, the third Sunday of Advent, which is designated Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. The Church invites all her children to rejoice and be glad because our salvation is near. The first and second readings reflect this theme of joy and gladness in anticipatory celebration of Christ’s arrival. In the first reading, the prophet Zephaniah invites Jerusalem and her inhabitants to rejoice because God, the King of Israel, is in her midst to remove judgement against her and instead renew her in His love. St. Paul repeatedly exhorts the Philippians to rejoice and have no anxiety because the Lord is near. We are privileged to be invited to experience today a foretaste of the joy and gladness that Christ brings at Christmas and ultimately at His second coming.

To experience this unquanঞfiable joy in Christ, we ought to properly and adequately prepare ourselves for the imminent Christ experience. The Gospel this Sunday presents John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, delving into the specifics of proper and adequate preparation for Christmas. John had been asked by the crowd, tax collectors and soldiers about what each group needed to do in order to be ready for the arrival of the Messiah in order to become beneficiaries of God’s reign. John counselled the crowd to share with others their talent and treasure. He cautioned tax collectors against corruption and injustice, encouraging them to carry out their essential duty with honesty and fairness. To the soldiers, the precursor strongly recommended was sincerity and contentment.

Like the Israel of old, we joyfully await the coming of Christ at Christmas. Our question today and everyday of Advent like that of the crowd, tax collectors and soldiers should be: “What should we do?” Inherent in this question is a profound renunciation of our pride and feeling of self-sufficiency, as well as a humble admission of our perpetual need for God’s grace. Be convinced that, should we ask this right and important question, God would certainly invite us to share the joy of Christ’s birth with each other, practice justice, charity, contentment, and be the visible face of mercy in our community.

May God aid us to realize how much we need grace and guidance. May sharing and caring be our moral refrain as we prepare for Christmas, and may Jesus find us still joyfully witnessing to the kingdom of God when he comes again.

Please be kind and may God bless you.