Commentary on the Gospel of

Fernando Torres, CMF


13 December – 3rd Sunday Advent

 Attentive and Cheerful

       Advent is a way of preparing for Christmas. But what does this preparation consist of in concrete terms? How do we prepare the ways of the Lord who comes to this world in which we live? The readings of this third Sunday can help us understand how to make that preparation.

      The first indication is given by the Gospel. In it we see how John the Baptist was also asked a very similar question. When in the desert he spoke of conversion, those who came to hear him asked him simply: Who are you? At that moment John could have placed himself at the center of the story. He could have responded by saying that he was the leader they had to follow if they wanted to find salvation. But John knew perfectly well what his mission was: to point to the one who had to come. His was not to place himself in the center but to announce and open the way so that all could meet the one who had to come. John invited everyone to raise their eyes, to cleanse their gaze in order to be able to see on the horizon the one who was coming to bring salvation. If it is necessary to convert, to change one's life, it is precisely to cleanse one's eyes, to prepare the heart for the one who has to come. A life in justice, in brotherhood, in compassion, will help us to better distinguish the one who is coming, to welcome him into our lives.


      The second indication is found in the first two readings. There is a theme that is repeated in them: joy. We are asked to rejoice, to live joyfully and in peace. Joy, then, must be another characteristic of our expectation, of our preparation for the coming of the Lord.

      Justice, brotherhood, compassion, and joy must characterize the Christian community and the Church itself. Our message to all men and women is a message of hope. What is coming is God's salvation for all. And that is what we have to announce. Ours is not to place ourselves at the center of history but to facilitate the encounter of all with the one who comes. What God promises us is salvation not condemnation. It is life, not death. That is why, from now on, we strive to make any sign of injustice and hatred between people disappear. We commit ourselves to life and for life, against the unjust death (loneliness, poverty, contempt...) to which so many are subjected in our world. But always with the joy of those who know that they are preparing the ways of the Lord of Life.


 For your reflection

     What does it mean to be fair in our daily lives? What can we share with others? Does our community live in the joy of waiting? Do I know how to communicate joy and hope to those who live with me?


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