December 14, 2014 - 3rd Sunday of Advent

posted Dec 13, 2014, 7:12 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:28 PM ]

Gospel of John 1: 6-8, 19-28

Jim's Reflection

"Back off....who do you think you are!!?"

There were so many times as a teenager that I kept quiet when I really needed to speak up. Or I got angry and verbally attacked people who disagreed with me. This is called the flight or fight response, two reactions that seem built into us for responding to an attack.

More recently we've heard the chants "hands up, don't shoot." I don't write this to debate, just to point out it is a community responding to speak up for what they feel is right.

When you stand up for what is right, there will be people who will try to quiet you with hostile looks or comments. That's what happened to John the Baptist. The people asking questions in this Gospel came from the religious leaders who eventually killed Jesus. They came because John's message, like Jesus' message, threatened them to change, to give up their status, power and privilege. John didn't back off. But he also didn't resort to violence...he didn't attack them. John found a third way that went beyond flight or fight.

This Advent, if you choose to be John the Baptist, you'll face the same thing. There's no way around it. Standing up for what's right, for the weak and vulnerable, almost always angers some people. How will you handle it? Will you follow John's example and stand strong for your Christian beliefs without retaliating.

Sometimes you'll fall short. If so, don't get down on yourself. Pray for the strength to stay firm but peaceful next time. Find the people in your life, both peers and adults, who will back you. God gave them to you for support in tough situations.

Through it all, remember that God believes in you and that you make a difference!

We're off to the Santa Cruz mountains for our Confirmation retreat this please keep us in your prayers as we also remember and give thanks for the special people in our lives back home.