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Third Sunday of Advent (C)

Now the people were filled with expectation LUKE 3:10–18

Luke 3:10–18 narrates that, although John the Baptist was very forceful in his preaching most of his audience listened with attention. Because John was clear and convincing, many hearts were touched to such extent that the people were filled with hope. Similarly, today as we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, our lives are filled with great expectation.

For example, students expect to be very successful in their examinations, the sick and suffering hope to recover soon, those with problems long for a brighter future, and even in the religious environment, we all desire a deeper and better relationship with the divine Messiah.

Thus, it is quite common for parents and significant others to motivate and guide those in their care. Some individuals also believe that they have the ability to conquer certain difficulties and challenges.

An expectation therefore, is a firm belief that something positive would occur and that life would not always be filled with problems. Advent is this special season when the divine Messiah fills us with new perspective. His coming motivates and energises us. Moreover, He broadens our minds so that we would always try to do what is right.

The book of Joshua 1:7–16 attests to this fact and further drives and encourages us to live with great enthusiasm. It states: “Be strong and very courageous, and be careful to keep the whole law which my servant, Moses, laid down for you. Do not turn from it, either to the right or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. Have the Book of the Law always on your lips, meditate on it day and night, so that you may carefully keep everything that is written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, then you will have success. Have I not told you: Be strong and courageous? Be fearless and undaunted, for go where you may, the Lord your God is with you.

Many times, we allow our personal hurts, bad experiences and disappointments to dominate us. While we may feel more comfortable dwelling in that state, we must move on.

As noted in Joshua, we need to be strong and undaunted, in our firm resolve to overcome negative and ugly experiences. Further, our lives ought to be filled with eager expectation and hope since this is one of the principal reasons for celebrating this great season of Advent.

Let us use the most powerful resource that is within us and sincerely try to forgive and love others. Although situations may appear to be very bad and dismal, let us never lose hope since the prophet Ezekiel 37:1–28 mentions that:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down and all around them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the floor of the valley; and they were completely dry. He said to me: “Son of man, can these bones live?” I answered: “O Lord God, you know”. Then he said to me: “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus, says the Lord God to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will live.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Lord and Father, this Sunday tremendous gratitude fills our entire hearts. First of all, we sincerely thank you for the numerous people who have given us great hope in this life.

We thank you for our parents and significant others, health-care workers, those in education and even religious leaders. Many times, when we were discouraged and disheartened, they were there at our side to listen and give us hope. Because of their constant guidance, we are here today to praise and glorify you. 

O heavenly Father, stretch forth your mighty right hand and give them your choicest and abundant blessing now and forever. Amen.

The Gospel Meditations for December are by Fr Gabriel Julien, a diocesan priest.