Third Sunday of Advent – B

12-14 December 2014

Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio
His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič

Is 61:1-2a,10-11; 1 Thes 5:16-24; Jn 1:6-8,19-28

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, are the first words we heard in today’s readings. How many of us have the faith and conviction to say the same? We oftentimes forget that we are baptized and confirmed, and that the gift of the Holy Spirit has been given to us. God’s Holy Spirit enables us to live Christian lives and places upon us a responsibility to avoid sin and give the best witness we can to Christ the Lord and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.

The joy of our salvation is found in the fact that God has not left us to ourselves, but has come amongst us to remain with us. We are never truly alone. The Lord is close at hand, and soon we shall celebrate the feast of his birth into the world. This is our true joy, which we are expecting in this season of Advent, which shall culminate with the Nativity of the Lord.

While we wait for that day and for his second and final coming into the world, we are called upon to give witness to the Lord. The Spirit has been given to us for this purpose. We have been endowed with this special gift so that we may be empowered to preach the Good News of salvation with our lives; to announce liberty to those enslaved by sin by leading blameless lives, to proclaim God’s wondrous deeds to humanity, by living a life of faith. We definitely have a mission to accomplish just as John the Baptist did, who as we know was the Lord’s precursor, the one who prepared the world for Jesus’ arrival and mission.

John is a good example for us, because he never sought any attention for himself. He always pointed to Christ, to the one who was to come after him. We should do the same in our lives if we are to be authentic Christians.

John was asked who are you? In responding he pointed to Christ, that the greater one was still to come. We can ask ourselves who are we? Are we messengers for the Lord? Do we really know him as he is, or are we still searching ourselves? The best witness is one who is convinced and certain in his/her beliefs. Are we convinced and as strong as John was for the Lord?

John had no desire to compromise his faith to the demands and norms of his society. We too must do our best to avoid all hypocrisy and the watering down of our faith by being more vigilant, avoiding all evil in every occasion, doing good and reaching out to those in need. In other words, to live our lives according to the Gospel, by becoming like John the Baptist – witnesses to the light that comes from above. The light is the Lord our God, who comes to us in our human situations of need to give us the joy and peace of his presence amongst us.

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