By Sister Agnesine Seluzicki, MHSH
On this third Sunday of Advent we are greeted with exalted cries of REJOICE! With voices from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, we are called to celebrate, to rejoice. Isaiah proclaims, “I rejoice heartily in the Lord…” We hear Mary sing out, “My soul rejoices in my God…” And Paul joins this chorus with “Rejoice in the Lord always…again I say, rejoice” Why such jubilation? Because, as Paul explains, “…the Lord is near.”
The promise has been fulfilled and yet in its fulfillments we still find unfinished business. In Jesus, God came to be with us, to walk among us, to bring hope and peace and justice to an aching humanity. Therein lies the agenda for each of us. John the Baptist, in this Sunday’s liturgy responds to those who ask who he is by stating, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.” In our Baptism, each of us has been given a mandate. We are to be a voice, a voice like that of John, announcing the day of the Lord.
All that God asks of us is to use the voice that is ours at this moment in our lives. It can be a strong, vibrant voice, or that of someone who has borne the heat of the day and can hardly speak beyond a whisper. All God asks is that you allow yourself to be the voice through which God enables someone to experience today that “the Lord is near.”
That voice can be a smile of affirmation, a nod of approval and encouragement. It can be a kind word or act. Then, there is that phone call or email that you have been putting off. Whatever it is, allow yourself to be a voice that prepares the way for the peace, love, joy and hope that Jesus has come to bring.