12-16-2018 Reflection

I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.

Last Sunday, we heard John the Baptist announcing the importance and urgency of turning away from sin. Today, John the Baptist is telling the people of his day what conversion is about. Teacher, what should we do? This question was asked by three different groups of people in today’s gospel. The question that they were really asking: what am I to do to keep my life centered in Jesus Christ?

John did not tell anyone in these three groups of people to convert and become a Jew or change their occupation. John told the soldiers to be honest, fair and faithful in the performance of their work. Similarly, John told the tax collectors, who were Jews, to be honest as well. John told the other group of Jews: Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should so likewise. In other words, practice the faith that your profess.

The message is the same for us. Let’s not just signal that we want to change, to turn away from sin – but show the fruits of repentance. Jesus is calling us to be faithful in the ordinary circumstances of life, Keep doing the things we are supposed to be doing – going to Mass, praying, going to Confession, helping others in need.

John in speaking about Jesus said: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. In accepting John’s baptism, it

was a sign that they wanted to repent, to change their lives. We received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. Through the intercession of Mary, who was always guided by the Holy Spirit, may we too be Spirit-filled and Spirit-led each moment of our lives.

May God bless us all always!
Deacon Mike