Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What Then Should We Do?

The Gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent:

Luke 3:7-18 -
John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked
him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.
From J. Janda:
For Dorothy Day—The Water Strider

"Do what you
would wish
them to do
unto you"

a voice whispered
and she responded
with hospitality

with soup and

and bags of

and feeding
and housing

the homeless
the rejected
the unwanted

the absurd Christs

who fit not
in churches
nor prisions
nor hospitals

the absurd Christs
who slip through

every mental grid
rational sieve

those to whom
no law or structure
can apply

the Christs walking
on water

instead of using
boats or bridges

the Christs reaching
their purpose to live
to love

and embracing it

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