Homily – 3rd Sunday of Advent

So we have some young disciples of the Lord here, our younger disciples. Are you waiting patiently for Santa Claus? Yes. Who’s ready for Santa Claus to come today? Shaking up old people? Put your hands down for the younger ones. But now it’s very interest sitting. How good are we at waiting? Who’s really patient? Really? This is sad. I thought at least one of you would be patient. Thank you. Because it’s very interesting. During the season of Advent, we heard Saint Paul today say, rejoice, be happy, rejoice again.

No, rejoicing is very interesting. So we wait patiently. So today’s readings are all about words. Notice John is here to give testimony. He is a voice crying out in the wilderness. Words are very important. So who likes to use big words? So big words are my life are fun. So if I say we are waiting in exultant expectation, big words, what does that really mean?

Young Disciples were waiting for Santa Claus. That’s what it means. And it means we’re waiting for Jesus to be born. Exultant expectation. We rejoice. But in order to rejoice, we have to be happy. And in order to be happy, we have to know who we are. And that leads us to today’s gospel notice that describes and the Levites and the Pharisees come to John the Baptist with the question.

And the question is, Who are you? They want him to describe himself, though. If someone says, Who are you? What’s the first way that any one of us describes ourselves? Do we say, Well, I’m tall or I’m short, or maybe I’m married or I’m single? How about I’m a student or a lawyer? How is it that we self-identify?

Do we say I am a Christian, I am a Catholic? Well, notice what John the Baptist does when they ask, Who are you? John doesn’t answer the question. John Rather says, I am not the Christ. John knew, of course, that the real question behind what they were doing is one about power and authority, not the quality of his be so when someone asks us, Who are you?

Do we talk about our being? We are loved by God, we are God’s children, we are grace. We wait patiently for the Lord to come again. Now, how many of us are waiting patiently for Baby Jesus to be born again this year? Who’s waiting for Baby Jesus? All right. Are we all willing to say I can hardly wait for a baby Jesus to come this Christmas?

Do we all agree? Well, there is a second part of Advent. We’re waiting for the Lord to come again in glory. We’re waiting for Jesus to come as King of the universe. Our just judge. How many of us are waiting anxiously for the Lord to come again in glory and judge us? I don’t see a lot of hands going up this time, but yet, during our Advent season, that is exactly what we’re waiting for.

So when John doesn’t answer the question about how he’s your being, they go somewhere else. They ask, John, what do you do? What if you’re not the Christ? If you’re not Elijah, if you’re not the Prophet, why are you baptizing? Why do you do the things you do? How many of us are better at self-identifying by what we do?

I am a priest. I am a teacher. I am a lawyer. Who’s better at that? Ah, well, interestingly enough, we are being invited today to both be. And do we? Our being is called to rejoice, to be happy of the Lord, to rest and prepare. Now we’re also asked through baptism to do something, and that is to proclaim the good news of salvation.

We are asked to become like John the Baptist and do exactly what he did prepare the Kingdom of God. Today we are asked to both be someone and do something and that something is crucial to who we are. We are asked to proclaim the truth. As the Gospel said, the light has been given to us and we are to tell the world about the light of Christ.

So we’ve lit the third Advent candle. We’re almost there and we have to confront the biggest lie that we have been told. Who knows what the greatest lie is? The greatest lie is that we are not called to holiness. Christ. Jesus has given us a universal call to be holy and we can do it. We can be holy and we can do holiness by inviting others to recognize the Prince of Peace, proclaiming the light may not be easy.

After all, there is a lot of darkness in our world, but we need to remember what John the Baptist said. Words are important. I come to testify to the light. That’s our words, and that’s what we’re supposed to do. Testifying to the truth means that we know who we are and we can tell the truth about us, John said.

This comes in two stages. First, we have to know who we are by dispelling all the lies. We have to know that we are called to be a holy people. And then the second is to discovering who we truly are a holy people saved by Christ Jesus. John came to know himself as a voice. What do voices do?

Proclaim words. And we are called not to be just a voice proclaiming the truth, but an ear to listen to the voice of God, showing us the truth, to have hearts open to the truth, to have heads living the truth in generosity. That’s who we are. That’s why we rejoice. That’s why we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent.

Now, in order to discover who we truly are, we have to get through all of the lies that society tells us. We can’t be holy. We don’t have to wait. We don’t have to prepare. We have to do more than we have to be. So today, is there a lie that’s blocking me from knowing Christ Jesus, the beloved child of God, and knowing that I’m a beloved child of God?

John the Baptist says he’s a voice. Do we have a voice for the truth? Do we have hearts and hands and ears to know the truth? Are we ready? Are we ready to be both Elijah John the Baptist? Are we ready to be prophets? Because who we are are prophets for the world. In this season, can we see the light of Christ When we look to the at that wreath, can we see three lit candles and one unlit candle because we are still open to preparing?

Are there new ideas for us to experience or be confident in my knowledge that I am God’s child and that I know the truth? Is it worth waiting? Well, eight more days. Santa will be here a more baby. Jesus will be here a more days. The church will look different. We are waiting and we are preparing. If someone asks us the question, Who are you?

How are we going to answer? Today? We are voices crying out in preparation. We are all those waiting in the light. We are called to universal holiness today. Who are we and are we ready for the coming of Christ Jesus? Because we rejoice always. I say it again. Rejoice.