Third Sunday in Advent
Cleaning our hearts
Points to note
This story follows on from last week’s reading. We take the theme of waiting just that one step further.
The concept of repentance that forms the basis of this reading is not easy to explain. As adults, we too may end up grappling with the idea and it really is part of a very personalised life-long journey. Mine started as a child and I believe if done right, the children is then started off on their own life long journey starting with the first steps that we help them along today.
Again, we focus on drawing parallels with the aspects of life for the children. From ideas that they are familiar with, we move to concepts that they would understand but may not appreciate the depth of meaning. In years to come, we hope they will return in their mind to what we discuss today and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the treasures of Jesus’ teachings to be opened to them.
Acclamation before the Gospel
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor.
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
All: Glory to you O Lord
When all the people asked John, ‘What must we do?’ he answered, ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.’ There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master, what must we do?’ He said to them, ‘Exact no more than your rate.’ Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’
A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’ As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.
This is the Gospel of the Lord