Third Sunday of Advent
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3,10-18
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 Messiah.
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 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.
Sin and indifference can keep us from meeting the Lord. Before we can see him at work, we need to prepare the way for his coming to us. We need to get the wrong things out of the way, repent and ask for forgiveness so his Word can take root in our lives.
Prayer as we light the third Advent Candle - The Candle of Hope
As we light this third Advent candle, we remember the witness of John the Baptist, and how we need to be prepared to meet Jesus by acknowledging our sin and asking God to cleanse us.
We beseech thee to listen to our prayers, O Lord, and by the grace of thy coming enlighten our darkened minds: Thou who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.