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Gospel reflection

December 13, 2015: Third Sunday of Advent

The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?”
He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”

Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people. (Luke 3:10-18)


When I feel excited and full of expectation about something, that feeling gives me energy and enthusiasm about what is ahead. That excitement is what people were feeling in this gospel story. They wanted to know how to prepare for Jesus’ coming. They wanted to do all they could to be ready. John the Baptist takes the chance to tell them the good news about Jesus. He chose this group because they seemed ready to hear this news. He told them to begin to prepare for Jesus’ coming like this: Share what you have with other people. Treat other people well. Live your life in a simple way.


John the Baptist had very good directions to describe some ways of readying ourselves for the Christ child’s coming. How will you prepare the way for the Christ child in your life? Think about the preparation that your family does for Christmas each year. What can you add or change that will make the focus be more on Jesus’ birthday?

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Alice Shelton

Providence Associate Alice Shelton lives in Indianapolis with her husband John. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and enjoys her work as director of business services at Marian University.

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