READING OF THE DAY
A reading from the Book of the prophet Zechariah
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Luke
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
Monday of the Third Week in Advent
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
God’s Word for Us
Dear people of God,
The Word of God in today’s Gospel recounts the story: The Jewish leaders wanted to know by what authority Jesus taught and performed miracles in the Temple.
Through the fact that the leaders questioned God, He wanted to tell the whole of humanity: Do not follow the way of life of hypocrisy, deceit, and injustice. Stop being arrogant and unfair to everyone in this generation. Walk on the path of righteousness and the way of light. God showed the people that the Jewish leaders could not answer Jesus’ question: ‘”I shall ask you one question, Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?”’ The Jewish leaders were unable to answer because of their pride, their superiority, and the wicked life that was within them. Therefore, the leaders slowly withdrew, because if they answered from heaven, they would be rebuked by God, and if they answered from the people, they would be condemned by the people.
Through that image, God invites all humanity to stop living unrighteously and to return to a peaceful, righteous path. Avoid schemes and comparisons to others. Do not condemn or be overbearing to others. Avoid hypocrisy and deceit; stay true to oneself, bear true witness, and do not bear false witness anymore. Do not walk on the path of darkness, but seek the path of truth, and have the courage to reject the path of darkness, and get rid of the way of arrogance. God tells all mankind that, if people live in hypocrisy or deceitfulness, if they are “self-centered” and claim to have enough knowledge, and then condemn, expose, criticize, and rebuke others, then they are fools before God. Because in this world, only God is omnipotent, perfect, and all-powerful, and He sees everything in the human heart. Only in the light of God, only in the way of truth that God has given mankind, and only in the way of God’s love can we find the truth. Only God alone is worthy of honor by all.
Therefore, God invites all mankind:
– Have the courage to give up the arrogant way of life, give up the “self-centered” way of life.
– Bow down humbly, humble yourself before God, and walk in the path of God’s light which is to fear God above all things and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
– Put the Word of God into practice. Do not refute God’s Word, do not judge the Word of God, or calculate with the limited mind of humans.
God tells mankind that only those who walk on the righteous paths, who walk on the path of truth and of light, given by God to humanity, will enjoy happiness in the Kingdom of Heaven forever after.
Thanks Be to God. Amen.