THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Readings: Zeph 3:14-18; Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

Theme: “Rejoice in the Lord; again I say: rejoice. Give proof to all of your
forbearance (let your discipline be known to all) the Lord is near”

“Love your neighbour, but do not pull down the hedge” - Swiss proverb –

The leading idea in today’s liturgy is “The Lord is at hand” it is today’s focal point.
The Christian thinks of the Lord as someone who is always at hand. Not as someone who once lived visibly among us and has simply gone away to Heaven. For the Christian the Lord is abiding with him in his spirit. He finds him in his word. He sees him in various circumstances of life. The Lord is nearby, he sees him in his fellow man in spite of his weakness and malice. He sees him in his various circumstances of life. The Lord is nearby, he is at hand in the sense that “He is coming”, he is coming to penetrate into the life of the Christian, to take full possession of him, to absorb his life ever more.
It’s that kingdom, the coming which we pray for daily, which is near. Its not externally visible, it’s something entirely interior, it is holy and supernatural. Its not morality and virtue; its life, that higher life over which physical death has no power. It’s the spiritual light which disperses the darkness and guides the soul. It is peace, and love, and truth. It is the Trinity Himself abiding in us. The Lord is near, St. Paul reminds us.
The result of this nearness of God is joy. “Rejoice in the Lord”. We are reminded and advised, exhorted to rejoice. We need to be reminded because we do not rejoice enough. We do not rejoice as we ought to. Because the Lord is near, because we are united with Christ because we live in Him and carry out our actions through his grace. We must rejoice through his grace. The Christian who is animated by a strong faith, one, who lives the doctrine of the lord’s in dwelling in us, will not allow the troubles of life to dampen his joy.
The kingdom of God is the foundation of Christian optimism. The Christian should be a bearer of peace and joy. Our spiritual joy here below is the foretaste of heavenly joy hereafter. “And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrim rejoicing to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name” Act 5:41. to rejoice, even in adversity, is a Christian virtue.
We have a moral lesson from the leading idea. “Give proof to all your forbearance” “Let your discipline be known to all” to be a Christian consists in having the kingdom of God, which is supernatural grace in a person. To be virtuous and moral is necessary consequence. This is how we reason: since I have the privilege of having God living in my heart. Since I have the kingdom of God developing within me, it follows that I must live virtuously; it is the “Noblesse oblige”. The word ‘discipline’ ‘forbearance’ is not the best translation for the Latin word “Modestia” = modesty, decency, good conduct. This is what ‘discipline’ means here. Perhaps we could say: let your noble Christian bearing be known to all men. Your goodness, your kindness, your inner peace, all these should be known to all. Men should see that Christians are considerate, helpful, candid and loving.
Let us turn to today’s readings to prayer: that peace and joy in Christ Jesus may dwell evermore in our hearts that we may bless the eternal Father for calling us into the kingdom of his son that we may be one, and enjoy peace. That our Christians attitude in Jesus Christ may be plain to all. That all may meet Christ in us. Amen

Padre Joseph Nyamunga Mubiru
P.O.BOX 15318-00509
NAIROBI-KENYA
BLOG: http://nyamusus.blogspot.com
Mob. +254-722-585-329

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