Sep 212020

And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” (Luke 3:10)

This is the question the crowds pose to John the Baptizer (not to Jesus) after he proclaims a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (v. 3). The question is quite natural – people of faith are constantly looking to do faithful things, be faithful people, live faithful lives. But John’s response is more challenging than what we might prefer: “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise” (v. 11); “Collect no more [taxes] than the amount prescribed for you” (v. 13); “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages” (v. 14). The faithful response to a life of repentance is to live generously and justly, always looking to give of who we are and what we have. – rc

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