It is interesting to review an entire season of readings to ascertain where the Church is leading us. Let's very briefly look at the Gospels from the season of Advent.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.” LK 21:34
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. LK 3:3
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.” LK 3:10-11
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. LK 1:44
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” MT 1:22-23
What can we get from this? The Church, in her infinite Wisdom, knows that by the end of November we have all grown weary by the anxieties of everyday life. It is almost assured that we are so focused on the minutia of our daily routine that we can easily lose sight of the "big picture". Jesus warns us, "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy by the anxieties of daily life".
Next week John the Baptist will proclaim to all of us, "Repent!" "Repent" means to turn away from sin and dedicate oneself to amending one's life. But to turn away from something (the anxieties of daily life) necessarily means to turn towards something (God). The Church reminds us to refocus on God and make Him the center of our lives. Once we have turned from the anxieties of daily life and turned toward God as the center of our lives, what next?
Well on the third Sunday of Advent the crowds asked John the Baptist that very question, "Now what?" Very simply the response is, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." Simple. If you say you love God and He is at the center of your life, prove it! Love of neighbor is the external proof that the internal mystery of love of God is real.
Once we have turned away from the anxieties of daily life, turned toward God as the center of our lives, proved it by charitable acts of loving our neighbor, we will leap for joy in the presence of God. Like John the baptist leaping for joy at the sound of the Blessed Mother's greeting, like David dancing for joy and leaping with abandon before the Ark of the Covenant (2 SAM 6:14), we will experience the joy of the presence of God in our lives.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”
When He humbled Himself to come among us as a human being,
He fulfilled the plan You formed long ago
and opened for us the way to salvation.
Now we watch for the day,
hoping that the salvation promised us
will be ours when Christ our Lord will come again in His glory.
from the Advent Preface