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The WORD. The TRUTH.

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A winnowing fan is a traditional farm implement which technology today may have rendered obsolete. But it was useful then for through this forklike shovel the threshed wheat is thrown in the air thus separating the wheat from the chaff: the kernels fell to the ground; the light chaff, blown off the wind, was gathered and burned up.

In the OT the process of winnowing is mostly used as a metaphor for the judgement of Yahweh (Is 41:16; Jer 4:11; Ezk 5:2,10), the scattering of Israel among the nations (cf Dt 4:27, Neh 1:8; Zec 13:7) and exiles (Ezk 11:16, 20:34). In the gospels St. Luke (3:2b-18; cf also Mt 3:7-12), John the Baptist heralded this impending judgement (3:9) using this processes of winnowing with a fan/fork, ‘ptuon’. (πτύον) (3:17; Mt 3:12) to mean the separation of the virtuous from the evildoers; thus the Baptist’s call for repentance and its fruits (3:8). Responding to the three-fold question John answered in terms of a very basic ethic, shared by Jew and Greek alike: a. to share goods with those who are deprived (v10f), b. to “live by the book”, that is, to ask only that payment which is just and avoid unethical conduct such as extortion and fraud, c. to desist from the recognizable abuses of the military. In short, an ethic of fairness and equity.

To focus on judgment on the third Sunday of Advent which is called Gaudete Sunday, seems to be out of place. But judgement has its both positive and negative features. It need not be terrifying, sobering, yes. For to really know God logically required some response. A life marked by a positive response to God, even with sin and forgiveness along the way will also not be overlooked. Even in the prophets (cf first reading from Zephaniah), judgement repeatedly highlights salvation. He sees the end of Yahweh’s punitive judgement of his people with a future marked by his dwelling in their midst. While St. Paul (cf 2nd reading) sees the end in terms of rejoicing as long as waiting is marked by a virtuous life, with God’s peace dwelling in the human heart. In short, we are just reminded that in the both comings of the LORD there will be a reckoning. But if we can show the fruits of our repentance, we can truly rejoice in his promised salvation and not his condemnation

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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Kalidad ng pagtuturo

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