Third Sunday of Advent
Zephaniah 3:14-18a, Psalm – Isiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7, & Luke 3:10-18
"Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice!"
In the fast-paced and sometimes scary world we live in, a message telling us to have no anxiety can make us stop in our tracks. No worry, we might think, "Well, what about my family, my job, our country's political situation, crime, racial tension, violence, abortion, and war." How can I not be anxious? The reading from Saint Paul's letter to the Philippians for today gives us a game plan for reducing anxiety—a textual map for us to navigate our way as we prepare for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul exclaims, "Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice!" We often lose joy when we get caught up in life, and we lose the comfort of knowing that God loves us and watches over us. We need to look for joy in prayer, God's creation, and God in the people we meet.
Be kind! Within the rush of life, we sometimes forget the power of a smile, a helpful hand, or a few kind words. The capability of a small act of kindness is that one action can reverberate, sending out ripples of kindness. Life's frustrations often make us want to lash out at others, usually at those not the cause of our frustrations. Perhaps when things aren't going to plan, it is time for a "new plan." We may then find joy when we least expect it.
Be thankful! The rush of everyday life often leaves us in a chaotic busyness. We need to accomplish our goals to create a good life for our families and ourselves. However, we can never lose sight of God. A deep breath and a whispered thanks could help ease that anxiety.
Pray! Find the peace of God to "guard your hearts and minds." Speak to God, and He will speak to you.
In today's Gospel narrative, friends, we get more ways to help us find our way on our map. John the Baptist tells the crowd, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none." John tells them to be fair and honest and to wait for the one who is coming. His advice is perfect, and it can be broadened in many ways. Each day, may we strive to "rejoice, be kind, be thankful, and pray" that we obtain our way to the peace of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Question of the Day: How will you share your time, talent, and treasure with those in need?
Prayer: "Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel." (Isaiah 12)