Gospel: (Luke 3:10-18)
The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He answered, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.”… 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.”…Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached the good news to the people.
The “good news” is a message of a topsy-turvy world. John baptizes and preaches to the crowds, the “common folk”, and in answer to the question “What should we do?” he answers to the effect, “more than you would wish to do or that can be expected of you”— share what you have with those who have not. John’s good news is that of a totally different way of seeing life. The question, “What should we do?” is asked three times in today’s gospel, and the answer is invariable: reach out to the marginalized with whatever you have and they need. This is the good news of John, and it is identical to the good news Jesus preached. John directs our attention to Jesus and the inauguration of his ministry to the poor and those in need. And so we ask, “What should we do?”(Living Liturgy, p. 14)
Sr. Rosalie said: “One night I dreamed that I stood at the judgment seat of God. He received me with great severity and was about to pronounce my sentence to perdition, when suddenly I was surrounded by an immense throng of persons carrying old shoes, hats, and clothing which they showed to God and said, ‘She gave us all these things!’ Then God looked at me and said, ‘Because you gave all these old clothes in My Name, I open heaven to you. Enter, for all eternity!” (White Wings and Barricades, p.161)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence) If we looked at Jesus and asked, “What should we do?” what answer would he give to us?
Closing Prayer: As our Advent journey continues, we turn in hope to Christ and ask, -Lord Jesus, what should we do? Watch over all children, that they may know your love, -Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay. Protect all who are abused and neglected, -Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay. Strengthen all Vincentians in their efforts to reveal your love, -Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay. Amen