Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Third Sunday of Advent (Year B)

GOSPEL: John 1: 6-8; 19-29. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. 

This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" and he answered, " No." They said to him then, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." 

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


The Fountain of True Joy

We are now in the third Sunday of Advent, and the theme is “Rejoice” Gaudete! But what is the source of our joy?

John the Baptist knows. The Israelites waited, but failed to recognize it. John the Baptist spent his days baptizing and preaching, pointing out to the people that He is not Christ rather the Christ is yet to come; there is a greater joy to be anticipated, to be ready for.

In today’s world, we are often ensnared by false joys, by the false wit of the world. We fail to recognize that the joy this world offers is temporary," panandalian lamang." We give in. Then we fall back. Then we get tired. It then becomes n a system. As soon as we experience that happiness, the sooner also that we lose it. Sometimes too, we know that it offers groundless joys- but still, we prefer to hold on to it. We settle for less. We reduce joy into a lost feeling, an untouchable emotion rather than a reality, an enriching reality. To answer the primary question, it is necessary to change the ‘what’ into a ‘who’. Who is the source of our joy? And God answers “I am”. Our joy does not come from something. True Christian Joy (hence, the hopeful Joy of Advent) is found in Jesus Christ, God and Man. Christ came to prove na kahit sa mundong ito, where everything is going to pass, true gladness is possible basta ba’t hugutin natin ito mula sa authentic at certified na pinagmumulan ng tuwa: ang Diyos! Hindi ang sale sa mall, hindi ang naguumapaw na Christmas Bonus, hindi ang fireworks sa kalangitan, hindi ang ano pa mang material na bagay. Hindi iyan! Walang material na bagay ang makakatumbas sa sayang inihahandog ni Kristo, ng Haring-Sanggol na isinilang sa sabsaban ng Belen, na namuhay tulad mo at naramdaman kung papaano ang matuwa, maging malungkot, maghinagpis, masaktan. Christ came to bless humanity, to bless human experience by his presence. He came to confirm human joy, to turn our bitterness into the sweetness of a constant affirmation that whatever happens, God-is-with-us, Emmanuel.

These coming days, brothers and sisters, let us ask ourselves- am I looking forward to Christmas because of its material mirth? Or do I recognize God as the reason for this Yuletide Joy, above all else?

Manalangin Tayo: Maria, Birhen ng Nazaret, itulot mo pong sa Paskong papalapit, at sa bawat sandal n gaming buhay- ay maramdaman nawa naming ang iyong tuwa nang si Hesus ay nagkatawang tao sa iyong sinapupunan at nang siya ay iyong isilang. Ipanalangin mo po kami, na sana ay lagi naming piliin ang mga hangaring banal bago ang makamundong tuwa, na sana ay lagi naming magawa ang kalooban ng Diyos, na sana ay matularan ka naming lubos at kami po sana ay maging mapagmatyag sa oras ng pagdating muli ng iyong Anak, na ni anghel o tao man ay walang nakakaalam. 

Birhen ng Guadalupe, Birheng nagdadalang-tao,ipanalangin mo kami.

San Juan Bautista, ipanalangin mo po kami.

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