We went to Mass at St. Matthew's this Sunday. I love the Basilica but it is a bit of a drive from our home on the south side of town, especially since I am habitually late for Mass! St. Matthew's is also starting to feel more like home. I think it's especially fortuitous that the parish's patron is also my DH's patron saint. I now make a habit of asking for his intercession, especially since my husband is still looking for work.
From the Gospel passage, this is what spoke to me:
The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”
Notice what John the Baptist doesn't tell them to do. He doesn't tell all the people that they should all live in the desert and eat locusts as he does. He doesn't tell the tax collectors or the soldiers to quit their jobs. Instead, he tells them to serve God honestly in their everyday lives. Notice also that he does not promote an attitude of, "I'm okay, you're okay" or any kind of self-satisfaction with the way they are already living! Even though they aren't called to live ascetically, they are called to change their lives nevertheless. This is an important message for us in Advent time.
God doesn't necessarily want me to show up at the lab in sackcloth and ashes and start preaching fire and brimstone to all other the grad students. He is calling me, though, to do my job thoroughly, work diligently, and glorify Him in all I do. I pray I may live up to the calling and avoid falling into an attitude of complacency.