Pastor’s Corner for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B, by Fr. Rampeoane Hlobo SJ
We are quickly approaching the great feast of the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ. Today being the penultimate Sunday before Christmas the church invites us to rejoice and be happy. We rejoice because in a few days’ time we will be celebrating Christmas, an act of God’s love and mercy for us. This powerful sign of God taking the first step to reconcile with the sinner, brings joy and happiness because God does not make us pay for our sinfulness but with love and mercy is moved to rescue us through Jesus Christ. In gratitude we rejoice.
Our readings today also give us a reason to rejoice: The prophet Isaiah reminds us that the one we are preparing for is the anointed one filled with the Spirit, whose mission is to heal and bring good news to the afflicted and proclaim the year of favour from the Lord. For this we rejoice and are happy as the apostle Paul encourages us in the second reading. “Be happy at all times;” he declares.
Looking at our lives, despite all challenges and difficulties we are going through, I am sure there are many other reasons for us to rejoice and be happy. The gift of life, of family, friends and our community are just but a few reasons for us to rejoice and be happy. As we rejoice for all the good that the Lord has done for us, we also remember those who have been less fortunate than us. We know that many people have through violations of their human rights and injustices been denied the right to life, or to live their lives in dignity. Others have been separated from their families or forced to leave their homes, communities and countries.
The church constantly reminds us that we cannot be indifferent in such situations. Our faith invites us to support these children of God who have been denied their rights and continue to suffer in communities that host them. The Catholic Social Teaching (CST) calls us to be in Solidarity with those who are marginalised, work for the Common Good of all so that we may all live with Human Dignity. The words of one migrant resonate: “I beg you not to think that it is normal for us to live this way; because in fact, the cause is the ongoing injustice built into the inhuman systems that kill and impoverish people… Do not support that system by your silence.”
This is an invitation that compels us to live our faith by challenging the structures of sin that violate the Human Dignity of others or compromise the principle of Common Good. This invitation is for us to not only be in Solidarity with the marginalised, but to continue the mission of Christ in our daily lives, to heal and bring good news to the afflicted and proclaim the year of favour from the Lord. We are called to be the reason for others, irrespective of their background or nationality, to rejoice and be happy as well.
For the sick
Let us continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Benedicta Ngwebelele,Phoeb Ngwenya, and Andrew Ledwaba
Rev. Fr. Rampeone Hlobo SJ