I am God and the neighbors, the object of love appointed by the law of grace. It is difficult for the one who does not see me to love me, he fails against the law, and these faults cover and spoil the glass of his soul so that I cannot impress my shape on it, and impurity and darkness separate me from the man. (MR20:9)
We are now on the Third Sunday of advent, the Gaudete Sunday. The theme of our celebration is “Rejoice! Be glad, be happy because the Lord is near.” Like the other Sunday, it is very nice to ask ourselves why are we so excited, happy and rejoicing for the coming of the Lord in our life. What does the presence of the Lord do to us? Remember, advent season is the time for us to understand the real meaning of Christmas. Why are we rejoicing during Christmas? The readings are very good because it taught us about the presence of the Lord in our lives makes us happy.
The Gospel is taken from Saint Luke 3:10-18. In the second part of it, John showed that he is baptizing us with water, but the Lord Jesus Christ will bring us the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the effect of these is the removal of our sins, the sins that separate us away from God. And that is the reason why we are rejoicing. Same with the message of our first reading from the book of Zephaniah; the Lord has removed the judgement against you. That is the reason why we are rejoicing because the Lord removes the barriers of what separates us from Him so that we can maintain the good relationship with Him.
Christmas really means God sent us Jesus Christ, so that we could be united with Him. A relation to our God because we were separated because of sin and God made a plan to be united with Him. We are rejoicing because God Himself is doing His ways for us to be able to be with Him once again. But the question is; If God is doing His part, are we doing our part to have a good relationship with our God. What are we supposed to do? The answer is in the first part of our Gospel; we have to change our ways. When we see something that separates us from God and from our brothers and sisters, we are being encouraged to change our ways. Remove it from our system, remove it from our life. So that, we will have a good relationship with the Lord and to our brothers and sisters.
As what the second reading is telling that our kindness should be known to all. They should see and feel it. That is the encouragement of Christmas because Christmas is opening the door for change, a change that will bring us back to God.
In Fr. Palau’s writing “My Relations with the Church” the darkness and the impurities in the glass are the obstacles for this mysterious union. Even if the glass is pure, if there is no light, nothing could be seen even if the person had the mirror in front of him. So, once again the question is very simple. Are we doing our part to have a good relationship with our God? We are the one who sinned and the Lord is the one making ways for us to be united again. We can only rejoice if we will do our part because the Lord is with us and the presence of the Lord is an opportunity and a proclamation that we want to be united with our Creator.
Queen of Carmel Community