By Fr. Andrew Kelly
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT – DEC. 16
Once the Advent God enters believers’ hearts and souls, conversion begins. The practical Advent conversion question from Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 3:10-18) becomes the Advent question of all believers:
“What then should we do?”
John the Baptizer’s answers were simple and direct then, as they are now.
For everyone who had two coats and somebody has no coat, the believer gives away the extra coat. This way everybody has a coat.
The same is true for food. If somebody has no food, believers automatically begin sharing. This way everybody has some food.
John’s answers to the despised tax collectors and soldiers apply to all believers. There is to be no greed, cheating, profiteering, bullying or extortion among believers, rich and poor alike.
All are to be satisfied with what is justly due them, nothing more and nothing less. Everyone must always be open to sharing and generosity, whatever their status in life may be.
John’s Advent demands and conversion practices are really only the minimum required if believers are to be truly ready to welcome the Christmas Christ.
Oh, by the way, John’s humility and spiritual insight is also required: “…I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Dec. 16-23
Zec 2:14-17 or Ps 1:1Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47
Sir 48:1-4, 9-11
Mt 17:9a, 10-13