THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR C – 11th / 12th December, 2021

Although John himself lives an austere life removed from the ordinary pursuits of people, he does not ask his inquirers to dissociate themselves from their own lives or occupations. Rather, he challenges them to continue where they are, but to carry out their daily responsibilities with concern for others, with honesty and integrity. The expectation that filled the people was eschatological; they were looking for the Christ, the ‘anointed one’. John was not this one. His baptism with water was a ritual of repentance and cleansing; Christ’s baptism of the Spirit will purge and transform, and his coming will be a time of judgment, when the wicked will be separated like chaff from the wheat and will be thrown into the fire. John’s ministry calls for the change of heart required of those who would be saved from this distress.