Sunday, December 16

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 3:10-18. John the Baptizer is being questioned by repentant sinners, real, true converts. Now that they’ve turned around, now that they’re making changes, what do they do now? How do they avoid the old way of life and hold on to this new-found acceptance of God and by God? And John gives explanations to various groups, each group having specific issues and needing their own answers. John, God’s prophet, meets needs.

During Gandhi’s lifetime many Hindus thought he was a manifestation of their concept of God. He kept telling them he wasn’t. But seekers don’t always listen to what they don’t want to hear. One day a man approached Gandhi and asked him, “How do I live a good life?” That’s a simple enough question and it sounds a lot like what the people were asking John. Go to the bookstore and you’ll see an entire section of self-help books. We can complicate simple questions. It’s almost as though human nature demands difficulty and manufactures it whether its needed or not. But back to Gandhi. He gave a simple answer, one that struck at the root of the problem in a simple and direct fashion. His answer? “To lead a good life all that is necessary is, from moment to moment, to do that which is right.” All those moments are going to add up to your life.

Tackling life and getting it right, especially if you’re sincere, can seem a difficult task. Now we’re back to the human tendency to complicate things. But it’s no more complicated than Gandhi’s statement. Gandhi was a Hindu, but real truth is universal. Some things are across the board. It’s what John was explaining in a little more detail. Detail is needed by most of us because our lifetime so far, for many, has set up patterns of behavior that cloud the issue of what the next right thing to do might be. Like the people asking John, we need to ask at times because we just can’t figure it out on our own. One more reason we need the Church, and one more reason Jesus established it. Sheep go astray without a good shepherd.

As we move through Advent and approach Christmas we might like to think about how we can know what the next right thing is. It’s not a complicated issue. Knowing what the right thing to do is centers on knowing the Next Right One. He arrived on Christmas day nearly 2,000 years ago. And all of our life questions are answered in Him. Now, is that a Christmas gift or what?

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Published in: on December 16, 2012 at 6:29 am  Comments Off on Sunday, December 16  
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