The first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke begins with a “double” Annunciation. The Angel of the Lord comes to Zechariah (in the temple) and to Mary (in her home), an appearance which foretells and brings about the birth of a son for each. Both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus are a part of the priestly class of Levites. Their lives are to bring about the sanctification of the human family. The “first encounter” of John and Jesus is within the wombs of their mothers, and their second would be in the waters of the Jordan River, the “womb” of rebirth in Baptism.
John’s “preaching” to us on this Third Sunday of Advent is direct. “Possess only what you need, do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone and be satisfied with your wages” is a call to a life that is not lived in a self-centered manner. He clearly points out that the “One” to come will baptize with fire that is cleansing, purifying and energizing!
Almighty God, you sent your Son into a world where the wheat must be winnowed from the chaff and the evil clings to what is good. Let the fire of your Spirit purge us of greed and deceit, so that, purified, we may find our peace in you and you may delight in us.
Once again, I thank you, for your participation in our Angel Tree which will so generously touch the lives of children, families, and the elderly who are confined in our parish’s nursing facilities.
May these next days be filled with peace that is beyond understanding and the anxieties of our times not deter us from the hope that fills those who long for the Savior’s coming!