Theme: “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS”
By: Fr. Arthur Ntembula
Homily for Sunday December 12 2021
GAUDETE (JOYFUL) SUNDAY
(Zephaniah 3:14-18, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:10-18)
The joy that we get from other things lasts but a moment, but what God gives is complete and lasting joy. Today we celebrate Gaudete (joyful) Sunday. In this liturgy, we celebrate the joy of God’s redeeming presence among us brought about by the mystery of the incarnation of his Son, Jesus Christ. With this celebration, we can already begin to feel the joy of Christmas, for we know that it is just around the corner. That is why we light the pink candle. We should then ask ourselves, like the tax collectors and the soldiers ask John the Baptist in the gospel, “What should we do?”
In the gospel, people feel the nearness of the messiah. It is as if they can’t wait to see him. Because of their anxiety, they ask John, “what should we do?” He responds and says, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed… Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” John invites the people to a life of integrity: a quality of honesty and of having strong moral principles. Therefore, whatever demonstrates dishonesty is the opposite of integrity.
John invites us to put the interests of the human person at the centre of our activities. Anything that does not demonstrate honesty disrespects humanity. How can we create a joyful humanity without integrity? How do we create a joyful Church without putting each other at the centre of our activities?
Humanity requires that we come down from the thrown of the “self” and begin to see ourselves in others, loving them as we love ourselves. This is how to rejoice as a community and as a Church. We cannot talk about the joy of Christmas until we start embracing each other in love, treating each other with respect, and handling each other’s affairs with honesty and integrity. As long as we remain with our feet planted in our own castles, we will not see the needs of others.
Christianity is not about “claiming”, but “being.” If we cannot be, then our claim is just as empty as a gong. What lies at the basis of “being” is that we make Christianity concrete, practicable and experienced. Jesus did not just say that he was the Son of God. He actually showed what he said he was. And in everything that he did, he demonstrated that humanity was the most important thing. The mission we were given by Christ was to be his face to each other and share the joy of belonging to him. If we cannot seek to share our happiness with others, then we are creating a community of sadness. How can we truly be happy knowing that we have done nothing to contribute to the happiness of others? We were created to be happy not only as individuals but also as a community, and all of us have something to share to realize this purpose. What we should do is to create a society where everyone finds happiness, protection, acceptance and respect regardless of status and gender.
ENJOY YOUR LITURGY
Fr. Arthur Ntembula