Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, we once again encounter John the Baptist. He continues on his mission of being the one sent to testify to the light. Of course, that light being Jesus Christ.
John was a courageous and powerful witness to Jesus. John had a strong personality and was a man of principle. John didn’t’ seek a comfortable lifestyle but chose to live in the uncomfortableness of the desert. His radical way of life spoke well of his personal integrity and gave credence to the words he spoke. At times those words were quite fiery and made folks uncomfortable. However, John knew that they needed to hear what he had to say in order to change their lives. John was a living example of what he preached and when his task was completed, he moved aside to open the way for Jesus.
The world today still needs people who will have the courage of John to bear bold and faithful witness to Jesus Christ. This is not easy in a world that is filled with so much that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the radical call to live the Gospel way of life.
One only need open the daily newspaper or turn on the news to hear yet again of more corruption, deceit, and lies. The very people who are our elected leaders and supposed to be examples of integrity and upright moral character have failed us. So many of them are caught up in the tangled web of corruption which leads people who trusted them to lose hope and trust.
Without the witness of Christians the face of Christ, already blurred by all of this corruption, will continue to fade from our world. Jesus will continue to stand among us, unknown and unrecognized. Our hearts will remain broken, and people will remain imprisoned in darkness, and the Good News will not be preached.
The task of being a faithful witness is not one for the individual Christian only but for the Christian community as a whole. It is much easier to witness to Jesus Christ as a member of a prayerful and supportive community.
John the Baptist challenges all of us to reflect on how well we are bearing witness to Christ. Jesus is counting on each one of us to continue to be his light scattering the darkness of our world. We are all he has. And we have nothing to fear as Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they insult you, and persecute you, and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
— Fr. Dennis, Dec. 17, 2017