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REPENTANCE-SHARING

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

After his invit­a­tion to the way for the Lord by mak­ing His paths straight, filling in every val­ley and lay­ing down every moun­tain, John goes on to explain the prac­tic­al mean­ings of such invit­a­tion. To every group that inter­rog­ated him after listen­ing to his words in 3:7–9, and on what to do and on how to pre­pare the way of the Lord, John gave a con­crete answer. In oth­er words, This Sunday Gos­pel read­ing con­tin­ues last Sunday’s mes­sage on the iden­tity of John the Baptist and his role as a fore­run­ner – one who pre­pares the way for the Christ. The read­ing described the appear­ance of John in the desert, estab­lish­ing his link with the proph­et­ic tra­di­tion of Israel. Last week, John called and chal­lenged the crowd and every Chris­ti­an to show evid­ence of their repent­ance by amend­ing their lives. Accord­ing to John, what saves is not our lin­eage or social status. Repent­ance must be observ­able in our actions. With this, Luke under­lines two import­ant themes of his Gos­pel mes­sage: The Chris­ti­an faith which should be mani­fes­ted in our actions; and the call to sal­va­tion which is made avail­able to every­one, Jews and Gen­tiles alike.

Repentance and sharing

And the crowds asked him, what then should we do? In reply he said to them, who­ever has two coats must share with any­one who has none; and who­ever has food must do like­wise” (Luke 3:10–11). This was the reac­tion of the crowd on hear­ing what John said. The ques­tion, “what then…” is in reac­tion to John’s invit­a­tion to amend their way of life. What did John say to them? When the crowd came out to be bap­tized, John opened up and said to them “you brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repent­ance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, we have Abra­ham as our ancest­or; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up chil­dren to Abra­ham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree there­fore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:7–9). These words touched them that both the crowd, tax col­lect­ors and sol­diers star­ted ask­ing what to do to bear good fruit and avoid being cut down and thrown into the fire. The recur­rence of the inter­rog­a­tion what then shall we do in the Gos­pel accord­ing to Luke and in the Acts of the Apostles, shows the import­ance of the need to repentance.

Conclusion

The words of John to the crowd, the tax col­lect­ors and the sol­diers are addressed to us today. Like the crowd, we must learn to share whatever we have that is not evil. Unfor­tu­nately, whenev­er shar­ing is men­tioned, many people under­stand only mater­i­al things. Out­side mater­i­al things which could be shared with those who do not have, there are also oth­er things that could and need to be shared. For instance, our time, advice, good wishes, encour­age­ment, grat­it­ude, joy, sor­row, and so many oth­er things.

As of the tax col­lect­ors, we still have them in our soci­et­ies. Unfor­tu­nately, the Nigeri­an gov­ern­ment both at the Fed­er­al and State levels have so many task and inhu­man agents who col­lect illeg­al taxes for them and in a very viol­ent and cal­lous ways. This must stop. Even in the Churches and Par­ishes too. The uncon­trolled and insens­it­ive ways of mak­ing fin­an­cial requests from the people should be recon­sidered. In some instances, psy­cho­lo­gic­al tac­tics are deployed to extort money from the people. This is viol­ence too and those involved should repent.

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 3rd Sunday of Advent © is found in vol. III pages 22–33. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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