Come and Be Filled. Rejoice Always! | Word from the Shepherd No. 158

3rd Sunday Advent | Year C
Zep.3:14-18; Ph.4:4-7; Lk.3:10-18

The day was hot. Felt stifled. Not even a breeze? About to complain: when I saw in the distance a row of pine trees, swaying, graceful and rhythmic? I was in parking lot, feeling horrible but those trees were dancing. That’s happiness. That’s rejoicing. We know that feeling. (spontaneous bursting in song? a lightheartedness? Whistling away? A ready smile for others? Cheerfulness?)

Happiness comes from within, reflected in our rejoicing, our rejoicing makes others rejoice.   Rejoicing is the fruit of one’s embracing of destiny, being comfortable with the quiet centre within and being connected to our power bank . Look at creation. They dance.

Our time is no different from the time of Zephaniah, John the Baptist or Paul. We are going through bad times. What we believed in is shaken, systems are collapsing, lack of spiritual depth and more external-ism is creeping  in ( these are the Pharisees of today);  narrow-minded nationalism, civil wars and violence, hatred and divisiveness is seen everywhere.(these are the zealots of today). There is a crisis in the world order and in the religious institutions.

Why do they do what they do? Many of them and many of us are motivated by selfish concerns, greed, covetousness, comfort, unbridled seeking for pleasures, prestige and power.

And the consequence is the distancing of ourselves from God , His Spirit and our centre. We do not see ourselves. We do not see what’s happening to us and our world. But some of us sense that something is wrong, and begin to seek out the ‘voice in the wilderness’.

But  God knows us  better and  sees  our  weaknesses and failings. He initiates  a dialogue, reveals His mystery and attracts  the ordinary. Happiness is what we want. But we  have  to let go what we are coming with

  1. Expecting  instant, painless, ready-made and effortless happiness.
  2. Loads of unresolved  concerns, uncertainties, lifestyle and kind of life that they subscribe to.
  3. No insight of right human behaviour, that ‘God first, we after’ is the principle of order. God first means total commitment and total love, not us, not our agenda.
  4. Misconceptions of God, His salvation, the good news, about peace and happiness,
  5. No idea of the promised Messiah, presuming that John the Baptist was the one.

The Beatitudes reminded us about happiness. Today,  Zephaniah, Paul and John the Baptist, like the many good people God sends, are ‘preparing the way’ for the great Gift of God, His Joy that will make us sing. Just remember these truths:

  1. God desires us to be happy, not worrying
  2. God is our ultimate happiness. Ask Him. Thank Him now, not wait. Thank the voices in our wilderness.
  3. God provides the only way, through Jesus Christ, the Spirit and Fire,
    to gather the wheat and burn the chaff,
    fill us with peace to guard our heart and mind,
    his love to renews us and
    His gladness to fills us and makes us sing.

Come and Be Filled. Rejoice Always!