Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
December 17, 2017 – 3rd Sunday of Advent (Cycle B, Year II)
Community Word: We celebrate God’s presence in us at all times.
Theme: God’s presence keeps us bold enough to lead others to Christ.
Promise: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.”(1Thes 5:24)
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord” (Jn 1:23) was John the Baptist’s humble reply to the Levites when they found him preaching and baptizing in the River Jordan. John’s words indicate that what he is doing is in preparation for the coming of ‘someone greater’ than himself. And his message also exhorts us to prepare for the coming of ‘someone very special’, a message which leads us to the word for this month: “We celebrate God’s presence in us at all times.”
Only in Christ can man find salvation. In Him it is possible to find the inner peace, hope and strength necessary to face life’s day-to-day demands, including the most burdensome and challenging. John tells us that the purity, wonder and perfection of heaven, everything that the Son of God knew before He became man, is now available to those who believe. Because Jesus came to us full of grace and truth, heaven is within our grasp. Simply by reaching out to Jesus in faith and trust, we can touch heaven. Jesus is the life and light of the human race. In Him is the light that sanctifies and transforms us into the image of God. In Him, as His disciples, we can become the love and compassion, the shining light of Christ for a world groping in darkness and hungry for love, expressed in our theme: God’s presence keeps us bold enough to lead others to Christ.
The 3rd Sunday of Advent is known as “Gaudete Sunday” or “Joyful Sunday.” This day we catch a glimpse of the joy with the coming of Emmanuel – God with us, Messiah, Son of God. While we tend to define ‘joy’ in worldly terms according to our personal gratification, the real joy is in sharing ourselves as instruments of God, as God’s willing gift to others. This is how the joy of Jesus flowed from Him to the sick, the lonely, the oppressed and the poor. We experience joy when we discover the extraordinary in ordinary things, circumstances and persons. It comes from the knowledge that God is present in our lives in simple humdrum ways, and even in trying times. It flows from hearts that know how to care and share, from people who appreciate and love and, more importantly, from opening our lives to Jesus who journeys with us. It flows from God to us… and from us, to others.
Are we ready to follow the mission of John the Baptist – doing everything to prepare people to accept Jesus? We are reminded to be watchful and ready. What have we done to prepare for His coming? After spending so much preparing for Christmas celebrations, sometimes we forget to prepare for one very important thing. We fail to feed and give joy to our soul, we neglect to be the fitting sanctuaries for the coming Christ Child, the real source of joy this season.
We are invited to die to self so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in and through us by way of our humility, acts of love and service. To die for the faith is a gift to some, but to live the faith is a call for all. Everything we say or do impacts on others. We can be the bearer of Good News, but we can also bring despair to those we disappoint. The choice is ours. Let us ask ourselves how exactly we are bringing the grace of the Lord’s coming into the lives of those who cross our path.
Each of us is called to prepare the coming of God into the hearts of loved ones and others to whom we have been sent. We are called to let God’s saving word be heard especially among the lost, the least, and the last. And as we do, we might receive His promise which says: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.” (1Thes 5:24).
Our Emmanuel, there is so much chaos and confusion around us but we thank You for sending John the Baptist as a witness to Your Light. May we also bear witness to Your Light as we bring your word to others. Please be present in us with Your love and compassion that we may be always ready to share Your love, grace and blessings to others. Amen.
1. As a renewed Christian, how can you testify to others that our Lord Jesus has indeed come to your life as your Lord and Savior?
2. How can you prioritize spiritual preparations over material concerns during this season of Christmas?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
December 17, 2017 (Sun) – Is 61:1-2, 10-11/Lk 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54/ 1Thes 5:16-24/ Jn 1:6-8, 19-28
December 18, 2017(Mon) – Jer 23:5-8/Ps 72:1, 2, 12, 13, 18, 19/Mt 1:18-25
December 19, 2017 (Tues) – Jgs 13:2-7, 24, 25/Ps 71\; 3-6, 16, 17/Lk 1:5-25
December 20, 2017(Wed) – Is 7:10-14/Ps 24:1-6/Lk 1:26-38
December 24, 2017 (Thur) – Sg 2:8-14/Ps 33:2, 3, 11, 12 Lk 1:39-45
December 22, 2017 (Fri) – 1 Sm 1:24-28/1Sm 2:1, 4-8/Lk 1:46-56
December 23, 2017(Sat) – Mal 1:1-4,23,24/Ps 25:4,5,8-10,14/Lk 1:57-60
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”