Thoughts on the Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent (C) 2019

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121618.cfm 

What do you think I should do?   I would guess all of us have asked this question at some point in our lives.  This was the question the crowds, the tax collectors and the soldiers asked John the Baptist in the first part of this weekend’s Gospel.   In his response John didn’t propose that any of these individuals do anything difficult or unusual.  Rather, he told them to do those things they already knew they should be doing.   And so it is with us.  As followers of Jesus we are not asked us to do anything extraordinary.  Rather we are called to live in common care and concern with each other, and to be the face and hands of Christ to those we meet.   

In the second part of this weekend’s Gospel we are told that the “people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.”  John had a clear sense of his mission and role, however, so he was able to tell the people:  “one mightier than I is coming.   I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.”   

Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah.  In it, Zephaniah reassures the people of Judah that if they remain faithful to God, they will have no reason to fear.  “The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.”  

In the second reading this weekend from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, Paul reminds the people of Philippe that: “The Lord is near.  Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”  

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. In our Gospel for this weekend, various groups asked John the Baptist what they should do.   If you were to ask John this question, what do you think he would tell you to do? 
  2. John the Baptist was clear about his role and mission in life.   What do you think your mission in life is?
  3. In the first reading this weekend, Zephaniah told the people the Lord was in their midst.  Paul told the Philippians that the Lord was near.  Where do you find God close to you in your life?  
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