Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus is about to brighten our world

Based on the Gospel of John 1:6-8, 9-28
Icicle lights. Rope lights. Net lights. Spotlights. Floodlights. Christmas tree lights. Outdoor and indoor Christmas decorations are beginning to illuminate, glimmer, sparkle and twinkle with bright, glowing, clear and multicolored lights.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, in response to the questioning by the priests and Levites, John the Baptist testifies he is not the Messiah, nor Elijah or the Prophet promised by Moses. As God’s messenger, he tells the crowds to get ready because someone is coming who will be a light for all people. John is talking about Jesus as the Light of the World.

It’s the third Sunday of Advent, also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice.” Three candles are lit in the Advent wreath. This Sunday’s candle is pink because it’s a sign of rejoicing that Christmas is near. The priest wears pink or rose-colored vestments. These are colors of dawn, reminding us that Jesus, the Light of the World, is about to brighten our world – just like dawn brightens the sky with light as night becomes day.

Like all of our Christmas lights, Jesus brightens our world with his love. Jesus came to earth not only to lift us up but also to show us how to live and lead us to heaven.

We are like lamps with God’s love shining through us. By living as Jesus taught us, we can bring light into the world around us. By loving God and others, we can be like Jesus – a light for the world.

Blessed Mother Teresa, the missionary sister who worked with the poorest of the poor in India, once said, “Often you see small and big wires, new and old, cheap and expensive electric cables up – they alone are useless and until the current passes through them there is no light. The wire is you and me. The current is God. We have the power to let the current pass through us and use us to produce the light of the world…. Spread God’s love everywhere you go…. Put your heart into being a bright light.”

Jesus’ mission is also our mission. There are many people in need – many people who are unemployed, homeless, hungry, sad and lonely, brokenhearted, sick and dying. We must share with these people in need; we must reach out and help them.

Let your light shine by sharing Jesus’ gifts of love, kindness, joy and forgiveness with others. Make room in your heart for Jesus and pray, “Come, Lord Jesus. Help me to fulfill the mission you have called me to.”