“Rejoice in the Lord always”
Reflections on the readings for the Third Sunday of Advent (December 15, 2019): IS 35:1-8,10; PS 146:6-7,8-9,9-10; JAS 5:7-10; MT 11:2-11
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
In today’s Gospel we hear the imprisoned John the Baptist sending word to Jesus through his own disciples.
He wants Jesus to declare the truth about whether or not he is “the one to come.” Our Lord does not simply say that He is. Instead He tells them to examine what He does. “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them” (Matthew 11:4-5). As we mark the Third or Gaudete Sunday of Advent, we pause we rejoice in a special way. Along with those followers of John we need to see and accept exactly who Jesus is. He is a healer and a miracle worker, but far more. He is a teacher and preacher of the word of God, but far more. He is indeed the Messiah: the one awaited by the Jewish people and sent by the Father to redeem the world.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. As we look ahead to celebrating the birth of the Holy Child, we must take some time in this busy season to contemplate both who He is and who He is to us as individuals. If Christ does not matter to us more than anyone or anything else in our lives then we need to ask ourselves why. His compassion for us was – and is – so overwhelming that He came among us to share that gift of love even though it would mean His own torture and crucifixion. Advent offers us the chance to grow in gratitude and understanding. Then each day we can try to emulate the generosity and goodness of God by reaching out to others, near and far, through prayer, loving-kindness and acts of charity.