“Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth. … You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. … Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.” (James 5:7,8,9)
Reflections on the readings for the Third Sunday of Advent (December 11, 2022): IS 35:1-6,10; PS 146:6-7,8-9,9-10; JAS 5:7-10; MT 11:2-11
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Christ let His actions speak for themselves.
This Third Sunday of Advent urges us to Rejoice in the Lord always. Indeed, it is called Gaudete Sunday because that is the Latin word for “rejoice.” We light the pink candle on Advent wreaths and realize that we are fast approaching Christmas. However, the liturgical readings today speak not only of joy, but also of accepting our responsibilities as followers of Christ. Once again in this Advent season, we are told to look ahead to His second coming and the Last Judgment. And we are also reminded of Jesus’ life and public ministry among His people. In the Gospel account, we learn that St. John the Baptist has been imprisoned and that he sends two of his disciples to Him. John wants our Lord to confirm whether or not He is “the one who is to come.” It may seem odd that a person so loyal to God, who has spent his entire life in His service should seem to express doubts about Jesus as the Messiah. Yet, many saints have had dark times when their faith was tested. But they remained steadfast, despite the temptation to give way to their uncertainties. John still firmly believed that God was fulfilling His promise of a Redeemer. And he did the right thing, by asking Christ for an answer to his question, rather than brooding on his concerns, or even turning away from Him. “Jesus said to them in reply. ‘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. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at Me’” (Matthew 11:4-6).
Christ let His actions speak for themselves. Prophets had said that the Messiah would do all the amazing, miraculous things that Jesus did. He not only proclaimed the Good News of salvation, but He revealed His deep love for His people, especially those in greatest need. Jesus was the One. He is the One.
Suggested missionary action: As we rejoice in the Lord’s generosity to us, let us thank Him for the gift of faith. And let us not allow occasional questions or doubts to keep us from embracing His love. Instead, let us ask Him for the courage to follow Him and to share His goodness with all we meet.