As witnesses to Christ, we must change our lives, prepare the way of the Lord
By Sharon Priester
Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)/Dec. 17
Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11; (Psalm) Luke 1:46-48,49-50,53-54; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28
This week, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Gospel begins with “A man named John was sent from God.” Who is this John? Why did he come? As we listen, we hear that he came for testimony or “to testify to the light” so that others might believe.
When asked by the priests and Levites who he was, he tells them who he is not. He says, “I am not the Christ.” Not being satisfied, they continue to question his identity: “Are you Elijah? . . . Are you the Prophet?” After more questions, John finally says, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
The one who was to follow was Jesus, far greater than John. John goes on to tell the priests and Levites that he was “not worthy to untie the sandals” of this person. He is there to prepare the way for Jesus coming, to be His witness and to share the good news with all the people who have yet to meet Him.
We — those who have come to know Jesus — have the opportunity during these last few days of Advent to prepare the way for the Lord, to change our lives so that we can be like John and “testify to the Light,” Christ, and bring glad tidings to everyone we know. Let us go “rejoicing” as John did and be witnesses to Christ, helping others to know Him, Jesus, the savior, who was born that Christmas morn.
SHARON PRIESTER has served as a parish catechist and director of religious education, Bible study leader, RCIA team member and coordinator, and regional director of religious education for the Diocese of Peoria. She is a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Bloomington.