First Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18a
Second Reading: Philippians 4:4-7
Gospel: Luke 3:10-18
Perhaps you have at least once been driving behind someone who left their turn signal on…you are at first expecting him/her to change lanes or make a turn…but after awhile, you realize they are not…but there’s really no way to communicate with them. We need to be careful that we are not going through Advent like that…signaling that we want to make changes in our life, to lead us closer to Jesus, but doing nothing!
John the Baptist was a signal for the people of Jesus’ time, that Jesus is coming…get ready! The baptism that they received from John was only a sign, a signal that they wanted to change, to repent. This baptism didn’t turn their life in the right direction, it was only an indication. “Teacher, what should we do?” Luke 3:8 tells us that the next step is to produce the fruits of repentance. This takes practice! Think of the difference between an average piano player and a superb one…that difference is practice! Likewise, we must practice goodness over time.
The Catholic Catechism (CC1435) tells us that our moral conversion is accomplished through daily living, gestures and reconciliation, concern for the poor, exercise of the defense of justice, admission of faults, fraternal correction, acceptance of suffering. We should be asking the same question: “What should we do?” or said another way: What must I do to keep my life centered in Jesus Christ?
John told the non-Jewish Roman soldiers: “Don’t practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” John was telling them to do well, what they are supposed to be doing.
John told the tax collectors: “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” John didn’t tell them to find a different job, but just be honest.
John told the Jews: “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” In other words, the Jewish people should practice what they believe – what God told them in the Sacred Scriptures.
God calls each one of us to be faithful in the state of life we are in, in the ordinary circumstances of life. He will make Himself evident there.
So let’s do what we are supposed to be doing…praying…going to Mass…regular Confession…giving our time, talent and treasure –as God has given to us so generously!
God bless us all always!