Advent is a Penitential Season set aside for us to atone for the evil elements in our lives. This particular day, however, this Third Sunday of Advent, is an island of joy brought on by our feeling that the Messiah is near. We note this changed feeling by substituting the purple penitential vestments and candle with rose colored ones.
The people, wanting to ready themselves for receiving the Savior, asked John the Baptist how they should go about it. Instead of his setting out high blown spiritual programs, he gave them very pedestrian advice. People with twice the food and clothing they needed should give half of it away. Others should stop over charging people. No one should hurt any other’s reputation or physical well being.
Instead of giving a wrapped and bowed present for each friend, you could scratch your head over finding a way to brighten the life of each of them. You might do something the same for a birthday present for Jesus.