Today’s the 3rd Sunday of Advent.
Find the Mass Readings here: 3rd Sunday in Advent, December 16, 2018
My Takeaway: Hang in There.
We don’t have to do something extreme.
In the Gospel reading, people flocked to John the Baptist. He had a ton of influence. People even thought he was the Christ. They were ready to do whatever he said.
John the Baptist could’ve led a revolution. He could’ve caused an uprising. But in answer to the inquiry, “What should we do?” John pointed to the ordinary.
Share your clothes and your food.
Stop cheating each other.
Stop pointing fingers.
Be content with your wages.
I can imagine their mild disappointment. Maybe they were looking to take up arms, fight back against the oppression in their day. Maybe they wanted John to tell them to leave their homes, join him in the desert, start a radical new way of life.
But John the Baptist told them to hang in there.
Hang in there, friends.
Share your clothes and food with those who don’t have any. Be fair in all your interactions with others. Stop pointing fingers, as if all your problems are somebody else’s fault. Be content with the circumstances in your daily life.
You don’t have to do something extreme.
You just have to be patient and content and joyful in your ordinary life.
Today is Gaudete Sunday. I always thought it was kind of funny that we have a week of rejoicing when we’re still in the waiting. And that we’ll go back to plain old waiting before Christmas comes.
But this Gospel points to what Gaudete Sunday is all about.
It’s not the rejoicing of the party. The Savior isn’t here yet. It’s not about doing something awesome and extraordinary.
It’s about rejoicing in our daily life.
Rejoicing in the waiting.
We persevere in joy, even though the Savior hasn’t arrived yet. We persevere in joy, even though we don’t see God face to face.
In our liturgical living, and in our practical daily lives, we’re called to enter into the joy of waiting.
Sometimes we can get so frustrated that we’re not perfect. This world isn’t perfect. We want to possess virtue. We want to avoid suffering and sin.
But we’re not there yet.
Where sin and suffering abound.
This Sunday teaches us that these things don’t need to steal our joy. This Sunday tells us to hang in there. To accept and embrace our daily life, with our eyes ahead on what’s to come.
It’s hard to keep a joyful spirit sometimes amidst the endless chores and mess of a house full of people. But that’s where I need to turn my focus today.
It’s hard to keep a joyful spirit when my personal interests have to move over to make time for cooking and cleaning and caring and discipline. But that’s the challenge I’m called to rise to.
It’s so difficult to keep a joyful spirit when this world attacks my family from every angle, tempting them to sin and error. But I have to remind myself that Jesus wins. He conquers sin. He’s got this.
Let go of the mild disappointment that God’s not calling you to be a superstar or a church reformer or a martyr today.
Embrace the call he has for you today. The call to a living martyrdom. A martyrdom of joy in the ordinary. Of virtue on the daily.
Hang in there, friends.
Christ is coming.
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I want to know your Mass Takeaway too! Comment with your thoughts on the readings, your pastor’s homily, or anything that struck you during your time at Mass.