Third Sunday of Advent (B) Violet
Is 61: 1-2a, 10-11• Lk 1• 1Thes 5:16–24
Jn 1:6–8, 19-28 • John the Baptist’s Testimony
6A man named John was sent from God. 7He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
19And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” 20he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” 21So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” 23He said:/ “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,/ ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’/ as Isaiah the prophet said.” 24Some Pharisees were also sent. 25They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” 26John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, 27the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” 28This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The Gift of Joy
Today is Gaudete Sunday; we rejoice for the day of birth of Jesus is near. We now light the third candle of the Advent wreath, the pink one, which symbolizes joy.
Joy seemed to have left my heart during one Advent. My family encountered a gigantic problem as Christmas was approaching. I thought I could carry on just by being silent in prayer. But one day I cried and cried. My tears flowed down like water in a river and the flow seemed to last forever. When the feelings subsided, I looked at myself in a mirror. I said “Pangit mo!” My eyes were swollen, and I looked really terrible. I came to my senses and laughter came out of me. Thank God I was alone at that moment. I laughed at my own craziness and stupidity. I forgot that God was in control and he could solve our problem. True enough, after some time, our problem was solved and our situation improved.
In the Gospel we read the testimony of John the Baptist. The many questions must have made him feel he was in a hot seat. But he remained calm and responded honestly. I believe John the Baptist had this gift of joy because he knew the truth. He knew that he was only the forerunner of Jesus. He knew that he was the messenger of God. He knew that Jesus was coming, the savior of mankind. Today, we are invited to imitate John the Baptist’s attitude in life. He rejoiced amidst the pressures around him.
It is a few days before Christmas. A list of activities are in line: preparing your gifts, practicing your Christmas presentations, attending the Christmas parties, doing outreach programs, etc. Before you dive into them, look at yourself if you still possess the gift of joy. Joy is not so much the absence of any problem nor the presence of any material things. Real joy comes with the faith that there is a God who will never abandon you in whatever circumstance you are.
Tama na ang pagiging emo. Be joyful. Carry the joy of Jesus wherever you go. Thus, you become the John the Baptist of our time.
- Who were the people who came to ask John the Baptist’s identity?
- What was the response of John the Baptist to them?
- What was the answer of John the Baptist to the question of the Pharisees?
- How can you become John the Baptist in the present time?
- How can being joyful make a difference in your life and in others?
- What joyful activities do you want to do for others this Christmas season?
- This week honor the people who became John the Baptist to you. Send them notes or little gifts or perform for them any act of love.
- When you encounter a problem, seek the joy or at least the better side of the situation.
- As early as now, make resolutions of how you can give joy to others.