Sunday, December 14, 2008

To Testify to the Light

Today is the third Sunday of Advent or "Gaudete Sunday." On this day, we light the pink or rose-colored candle on the Advent Wreath. It is a reminder to be joyful during the somewhat solemn season of anticipation and preparation.

Last Sunday, the Gospel reading introduced John the Baptist as seen in the Gospel of Mark. Today at Mass, we meet the man through the Gospel of John.

A man named John was sent from God.

He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.

When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”

So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”

So 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?”

He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’” as Isaiah the prophet said.”

Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”

John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”

This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

A Concord Pastor has a great homily for this Sunday. And, Deacon Greg is reminding us to be joyful despite the country's economic woes.

Mike, too, has a reflection for this important Sunday.

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