Advent calendar reflection for 12 December

Head and shoulders shot of a man

Bissajit.

“If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.” 

Luke 3:11

In the gospel today, John the Baptist places a demanding expectation before the people of his day. His words are direct, clear and explicit: share what you have, be honest, do not oppress people. 

Bissajit lives in Bangladesh with his mother Nomita and sister Sonia. The family live season-to-season, always in fear of losing their home and crops to the cyclones, storms and floods so common in their area. Yet Bissajit lives just the kind of life of open-handed generosity that John the Baptist speaks of today. As his sister Sonia says: 

“If he earns one taka and he hears about someone else who needs one taka, he’ll give it away. He puts other people first. One winter my mother bought him a t-shirt to protect him from the cold weather. The very next day he came across a boy who was trembling in the cold without enough clothes. So my brother took off the t-shirt and gave it to the boy.” 

Today is Gaudete Sunday (Latin for ‘rejoice’) and as we dwell on the words of John the Baptist and the example of Bissajit, we are reminded of the joy that is offered to us in living out the gospel, in the concrete actions of sharing and loving that bring new life to the world and to us. 

Advent prayer

Gracious God,
we thank you for your gifts.
Teach us to trust you
more than possessions or wealth.
Give us generous hearts,
inspire us to share what we have
and work for justice,
so that all people may flourish
and live in dignity.
Amen.

Act

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