Third Sunday of Advent 2021


What should we do?

Luke 3, 10-18

“What should we do?” the crowds asked John the Baptizer.

“What should we do?” is the question that each person ultimately asks him/herself as the need to find meaning in life becomes pressing.

The Gospel excerpt for today’s Liturgy opens by specifying just what the verb to love means, namely: to give, to not demand, to not withhold, to not mistreat, to not extort. Whatever your state of life, whatever work you do, in whatever situation or moment you find yourself, you must love, transforming the “little piece of land” that has been entrusted to you into a terrain of justice.

The only thing we have to do in order to live as fulfilled human beings is to become ever-more human. We must weave into our own small environments relationships characterized by peace, light, welcome and justice. This is the only way to conquer the evil we have done and the evil we have experienced. By behaving in this manner, we will witness to God in the world: we will be God in the midst of others, incarnating him everywhere, giving him a face, allowing the birth of Christ to take place once again. Thus Christmas will not be just the memory of a past event, but the joyful celebration of a renewed world.

But the Baptizer goes even further. He says One is coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. He will clear his threshing floor, gathering the wheat into his barn and burning the straw with unquenchable fire. John, speaking as a prophet, calls for justice, but he has not yet experienced the fire of the Spirit’s love. And justice without love can turn out to be the worst of evils.

Jesus performs no cleansing; he does not separate the wheat from the straw, the good from the bad, the saint from the sinner. His God neither burns nor rewards people. His Fire of Love destroys only the evil done, while embracing the one who committed it.

Taken from the Homilies of Fr. Paolo Scquizzato