December 11, 2009


3rd Sunday of Advent - C
Luke 3:10-18

Do What You Are Supposed to Do First, then More

Tax collectors and soldiers come to ask John of what they should do. These are the people the society then despises. They are Jews who have become agents of a foreign ruler. They obey an illigimate government; then in turn, lord it over their own people. They often abuse their power for their own gains.

Yet, surprisingly, John does not tell them to quit and find another job. He tells them to be who they are supposed to be, and do what their responsibility demands of them.

It is indeed a provoking and challenging lesson for us who often wish we had a different life or a better job before we can do good.

In the human community, each person has a unique role. And that is also true in God's family. Fulfilling our vocation is the sure way of bringing God's reign of peace to our world.

Once we have done what we ought to do, and be who we are called to be, then we can do more. "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise."

But John does not stop at telling us to "Be Nice." John's core message is also his life vocation. "A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him" (John 1:6-7). It is John who points out to all people, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29).

John's vocation is also ours. And today, John teaches us how to live that vocation well.

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