Sunday, December 16, 2012
Luke 3:10-18: I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming.
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 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.
Today's passage reminds us of the importance of getting ready for the coming of the Messiah. Here, John the Baptist is preparing the way for Christ by baptizing. He baptizes us with water but it is Christ who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. So how are you preparing for the coming of Christ? John the Baptist reminds us that we must share what we have and care for the poor. Faith alone is not enough because a faith divorced from Justice is dead.