[Parish Bulletin Article for 3rd Sunday of Advent]

By Fr. Abe Arganiosa

This 3rd Sunday of Advent, our Gospel once again presents the proclamation of John the Baptizer [Jn 1:6-8, 19-28] in the Johannine Gospel Account. Today’s Gospel can be summarized: (1) John the Baptizer was sent by God, (2) He came to testify for Jesus the light, and (3) The purpose of his testimony is for people to believe in Jesus.

Sent by God. Just like St. John we are chosen, called and sent forth by God. Our existence is a proof that we are chosen by God. Our being baptized Christian is a fact that we are called by Him and our Confirmation in the Catholic faith is a manifestation that we are sent by Him. We too are called to be prophets of God.

To testify to Jesus the Light. The goal of our existence is not only to eat, drink and die. If that is the case then we are nothing higher than brutes. We are higher than that. The purpose of human life is much more than bodily satisfaction because we are not only corporeal but spiritual beings. Our rational souls make us image and likeness of God [cf. Gen 2:7] and so we testify to our union with God through the beauty of our spirit, the ardent love in our hearts and the goodness of our mind.

To lead others to faith in Jesus. John didn’t focus on himself. He clearly distinguished that he is not the light. Jesus is the Light of the world.

Sin entered the world when the first Man and Woman desired to be God rather than acknowledging the One-True God. Evil existed because the supposedly angel of light rebelled against God by pride. St. John teaches us the virtue of humility as an antidote to pride, that is, to focus on God rather than on myself. The real greatness of man is not when he claims to be the best but when he humbles himself before God and men. John exhorts people to repentance and he did it by life of austerity. It means he walk the talk, not all promises only. He is not a noisy drum with no substance.

This Advent we lit the Candle of Joy. Let us testify for Jesus with happiness in our hearts and humility of spirit. Be courageous witnesses of Jesus this season of grace.