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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

17 December 2023

Third Sunday of Advent- ...“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,‘make straight the way of the Lord,’ ...

Reading 1 (Is 61:1-2A, 10-11)

"The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive sand release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise spring up before all the nations."


Responsorial Psalm (Lk 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54)

R. (Is 61:10b) My soul rejoices in my God.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked upon his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

R. My soul rejoices in my God.

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

R. My soul rejoices in my God.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

R. My soul rejoices in my God.


Reading 2 (1 Thes 5:16-24)

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.

May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it." 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed meto bring glad tidings to the poor.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel (Jn 1:6-8, 19-28)

"A man named John was sent from God.He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”So they asked him,“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”And he said, “I am not.”“Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”So they said to him,“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?What do you have to say for yourself? ”He said:“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”as Isaiah the prophet said.”Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him,“Why then do you baptizeif you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”John answered them,“I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,where John was baptizing."


Every conversion begins with recognizing one's own weakness, with standing in the truth about oneself. This truth is based on humility, which is the opposite of pride, the fact that I know best, that I am the best, that I have to succeed at all costs. Only by giving up myself can I give space to God and make Him come to the space of my life. An example of such an attitude is John the Baptist, who, despite so much attention from people, is able not to obscure God, not to be a star, not to take all the glory upon himself, but to humbly stand in his place, prepared for him by God. He is so humble that he puts himself even lower than Christ's sandal, which is the dust on which someone walks. To be like the earth, to humble myself so much that even others would trample me, not to seek only my own good, not to think only about myself, to allow others to come closer to God through me, without wanting anything in return. Can I make such a sacrifice? Humus is the earth, humilitas is humility, the similarity here is not accidental. Advent is one of the few times of the year where the word humility takes on a special meaning. Here is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, becoming a man, taking on a human body and dwelling among people. The King becomes a Beggar, becoming like the rest of the beggars, and what's more, he gives his life for these beggars. As Isaiah says in the first reading, He comes to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the wounds of broken hearts, to announce freedom to captives and freedom to prisoners, and to announce the year of the Lord's favor. Then He delivers Himself into their hands, and they treat Him as a criminal. However, the king does not say anything, does not open his mouth, humbly accepting suffering, because he knows that only through humility, only through his sacrifice, can he help the beggars, can make them rich again. The whole Christmas is marked by humility, but sometimes people made a show of it and still do. We are the ones shooting fireworks, decorating, chasing gifts, because there has to be pomp, because it can't be humble and simple, because this grotto where Jesus was born doesn't suit us, because the nativity scene has to have colorful with baubles and LED lights. How much will there be of God this Christmas, with His humility, and how much of us will be with our glory, with the desire to show ourselves, to make a good impression not on God, but on other people, waiting for their admiration and praise. I wonder if I will give way to Jesus, if I will cover Him with myself, or if I will forget about Him. He will be born in a cave anyway, because he found no place among people, because no one was humble enough in Bethlehem, to stop looking at themselves and notice God, who needed a bit of human love. John the Baptist says these words in the Gospel today: Among you stands one whom you do not know, who comes after me, and whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. He is already here, he stands among us, he sees me, but do I see him? Two weeks of Advent have already passed, in a few days God himself will reveal himself, will I be ready to accept Him into my life, or will it be a repeat of Bethlehem? To be aware that God is so close, and not see Him, not touch Him, miss Him, close the door of your heart to Him because it is somewhere else. It's terrible, it seems unbelievable, but it is possible if we lack humility and humble ourselves before God. Saint Peter leaves us a hint today, perhaps the last one in this time of Advent, let's listen well and take it to heart: Brothers, always rejoice, pray constantly, give thanks in every situation. Do not quench the Spirit, do not disregard the prophecy. Test everything and preserve what is noble. Avoid all kinds of evil. If we focus only on ourselves, God will disappear from our sight, if we start listening to the whispers of the world, we will become deaf to God's voice. If we stop praying, extinguish our spirit, throw ourselves uncritically and without any thought into the tornado of Christmas madness, catching on to everything that today's world throws at us, we will not recognize Christ and we will lose what is most important this holiday season: His presence. Let's prepare for the holidays, but let's not forget about our interior, our hearts. Let us fill them with humility, prayer and true joy, so that Jesus can feel good in us.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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