REFLECTION FOR THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT: YEAR A
17TH DECEMBER 2017: YEAR A
There can be little doubt that in the modern era we have lost a sense of sin. In one way, this is not a bad thing since the Christian Faith is more about grace than about sin. Nevertheless, sin is sin. It is a fact of life. We can ignore it and pretend it does not exist but we all know when we examine our hearts that sin lurks there in many and various forms. While there are many reasons why we lost a sense of sin, there certainly can be no doubt that an over-emphasis on sin, punishment and threats resulted in a gospel devoid of joy and freedom which should be its true characteristics.
John The Baptist whom we hear much about during Advent is the prophetic voice reminding humankind that we cannot get too relaxed about the seduction of sin. While he chastised and scolded, in the end he offers hope and compassion.
Pope Francis remind us that the Lord never tires of offering his mercy; He says for example in his Apostolic Exhortation ‘The joy of the Gospel’ “I invite all Christians, everywhere at this moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them: I ask all of you to do this unfailing each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy of the Lord.” The Lord does not disappoint those who take the risk: whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we realise that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.”