Gospel of Luke 3:10-18
"The crowds asked John the Baptist, "What should we do?" He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks, should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food, should do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, "Teacher what should we do? He answered them, "Stop collecting more than what is prescribed." Soldiers also asked him, "And what is it that we should do?" He told them, "Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages." Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts, whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with 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, with unquenchable fire." Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people"
Let us prepare our hearts for the gospel today- Come Holy Spirit!
The "question" asked several times in this passage reflects a " truth." "What should we do?". And what is that truth? - Love more! Put love into action practically! Love alone can move us into true conversion of heart and into living out- our life fully, as God intends. (the Will of God). The people (all ranks) were asking John the question, "What should we do?" They were asking the right person. John knew what they should do and he told them. How could John show them the way and why did they trust him enough to ask him? Because he was clearly in "the way"-living in the path of goodness it was evident his was alive with joy and peace! Goodness is powerfully attractive. John was filled with the Holy Spirit, the love of the Father and the Son. He was filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He had a true knowledge of self in God. He knew who he was and who he was not, he was not confused in his identity, he was grounded in humility and that led him to live out his life fully. He understood his mission and he was "locked into it" as the voice of the Word. The answer John the Baptist gives to each one who asks the question, is a very simple answer. To do the right and the good thing proper in one's life. (one's work, profession-one's state in life). Hold this thought, we will come back to it later. Let us look at the crowd a little.
The crowd was moved! They were hungering and thirsting for more! John stirred them in the depths of their hearts and the response to this was the desire for good for doing more, loving more. Only God's love can do that! Only love can draw out love and bring us to "desire" change and move "the desire" into an "action". The truth is, John the Baptist was unlike anyone else, he was filled with the Holy Spirit since he was in the womb of his mother. He was so different than others- the Holy Spirit was active in Him, and this created a powerful difference. This "difference" made the people question his identity, his origin. That "metanoia" was taking place in their hearts, they were now seeking with their own free will, a greater cooperation with goodness, because of John. We learn something more about the Baptist; he was a man who was totally himself, totally all for the Lord, radically in love with God, with the will of God and that love yielded him, a harvest of souls, moved to conversion. Now, let us return to the initial question: "What should we do?" in our "state of life", as single, married, consecrated, or priesthood, what should I be doing? What is the "more?" In our particular work that we are doing at the present, like the tax collector, like the soldier, we too spend our day busy with something? What is it, that we are busy with? and "What should we do and busy ourselves with more? What is Love asking of us? The answer the Baptist gave them was not an "extraordinary" answer, it was ordinary. Holiness lies in the ordinary things in our daily lives. Doing them well. Doing them with love. Let us take a moment now in silence and reflection.
1.) Am I ready to receive the gift of God this day in the Eucharist? Do I believe in His tender love for me? Do I allow His love to draw and lead my heart into a place of conversion. When others seek counsel from me, do I lead them to Jesus? or into a selfish preservation of their way of life. When I ask the question, "What should I do?" am I ready now to do it!
"Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. It consists in accepting with a smile, what Jesus sends us. It consists in accepting and following the will of God" (Mother