Third Sunday of Advent

“Exhorting them in many other ways, John the Baptist preached good news to the people.” (Luke, ch. 3)

Dear Friends,

We are all called to preach the good news to people. Though not all are called to preach with words, we are all called to preach with ACTIONS. In the gospel this Sunday, people asked John the Baptist what they should do, and he gave immediate and simple ways they could witness to Christ right in the midst of their ordinary lives.

I sometimes make living the Word of God in my life too complex. I remember years ago fearing that somehow I was a fake because my inner disposition did not always match my outer actions. I didn’t always practice what I preached, and sometimes my attempts to be more like Christ were more about me and my ego than about Christ and his kingdom. A wise spiritual director counseled me that total consistency and pure motives are heavenly virtues given only after this life is over and that for the time being I should just do the right thing and leave the sorting out of my motives to God’s judgment, his mercy.

Just do the right thing and don’t think so much about it. Do the right thing even if your motives are mixed. Do the right thing even if people will misunderstand you and judge you. Do the right thing even if in your self-consciousness you are filled with doubt and fear.

Do the right thing. What is the right thing? Follow Christ. Read Scripture. Pray more. Go to Mass more. And in this year of Mercy, put the list of Spiritual and Corporal works of mercy, which we as a parish will be studying carefully, right before your ordinary life as a guide.

Do the right thing!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim