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3rd Sunday of Advent – Christian Morality

“Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, ‘I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people” (Luke 3:15-18).

Many followers of John the Baptist believed that he was the Messiah. John wanted them to pay attention to their lives and to the coming of the Holy One. John told them that he baptized with water, but the one coming would baptize with the Holy Spirit. John also told them that nothing he did or said pointed to himself.

This is good advice for us, too. Like John the Baptist, we should not perform good works to point to ourselves. None of us is the one from whom these good things come. Our baptism in the Spirit is about trying to live a life of faith and good deeds.

But how do we live that out? John the Baptist said that it does not necessarily require momentous changes in our lifestyle. Keep doing what you do, he told the soldiers, citizens, and tax collectors, but be more generous with your extra coat and food, and be just in all of your actions.

What various roles do you play in your life? How do you serve others in each of these roles? In what way can you improve?

Adapted from PrayerTime: Faith-Sharing Reflections on the Sunday Gospels, available at the RENEW International store

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