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A theme of joy always runs through the liturgy of the Third Sunday of Advent. The joy of this day springs from our anticipation and excitement that the Lord’s coming is very near. We ask the Lord to remove any sadness from our hearts that may hinder us from embracing the peace and hope which his presence will bestow on us this Christmas.

In the Gospel today, John the Baptist explains the secret of Christian joy as our wholehearted commitment to God’s way by the doing of His will. John challenges people to generosity and sense of fairness so that others may have reason to rejoice. According to John, happiness comes from doing our duties faithfully, doing good for others and sharing our blessings with others in need. John’s call to repentance is a call to joy and restoration. Repentance means a change in the purpose and direction of our lives. John tells the people to act with justice, charity and honesty, letting their lives reflect their transformation. For us, that transformation occurs when Christ enters our lives, and it is to be reflected in our living in the ways John suggests.

Excerpted from St Pauls Sunday Missal, Gospel reflection by Fr Tony Kadavil available at