3 SUNDAY OF ADVENT – (A).
Is.35.1-6,10. James 5.7-10. Mt.11.2-11
When we board a train, we make it sure and ask our neighbor: Is it the train to… The affirming answer makes us feel relaxed. As believers in Christ we know we are pilgrims in this world. But we keep asking ourselves, Are we on the right path? People in their uncertainty asked Jesus: Are you the one who was to come? In other words, it is asking oneself. Am I right in believing in you?
The disciples of the John the Baptist doubted whether Jesus was the one who was to come. And so they posed the question to Jesus and He answered. If you doubt, go and tell him what you see. What we need in life is not so much arguments or intellectual speculations about spiritual matters. Our experience of Jesus must be inward, existential, based on faith.
Another reason which prompted the disciples of John to ask this question must have been curiosity. John’s was the message of doom, final judgment. What could Jesus be like. Is he going to subjugate Israel’s enemy and restore the land to its former glory? Is he really the way and truth, who would initiate a new and messianic era? Jesus reply to these is: Tell John the Baptist what I am doing. Yes God’s message is to make the blind see and the lame walk, cleanse the lepers, give hearing to the deaf, raise the dead and proclaim the Good news to the poor.
Jesus’ reply to the disciples of John the Baptist indicates how Jesus deeds-his preaching, teaching and miracles are a sign of God’s kingdom as announced by the prophets of the Old Testament. Jesus shows the way to a new world based on repentance and conversion of heart and he sets the example for others to follow.
How do we realize the word of God, the message of hope in our everyday life? During Advent, when we await Jesus’ coming, we should take John the Baptist as our model.
Like John the Baptist we have to be instruments in God’s hands and bear witness to the one who is to come and realize that we are nothing but His voice.
Like John the Baptist we have to develop a life o f prayer and penance by way of preparing ourselves to fulfill our Christian mission.
Like John the Baptist we have to level up the streets to welcome Jesus. We must be path makers for Jesus is making others also sharers of the message of hope.
Our salvation is near, it is already here and now. But God will save us only if we let him do so. Everyone is entrusted with a portion of God’s love that he is expected to share with others, especially with those who have little of it need it most.
Jesus came to bring Good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, and hope to the desperate and eternal life to all who believe in him.
The greatest miracle Jesus works today is our conversion for entry into his kingdom. What he did to the poor, lame and lepers and to the deaf, he is doing to us in a different way and at a deeper level. But he can work this wonder only if we let him.
What special message does today’s gospel hold for us?
Jesus is the messiah, foretold by the prophets. Jesus established the kingdom ofGod, also foretold by the prophets. But Jesus left us the job of completing God’s kingdom. He commissioned us to build the kingdom of God on earth. When Jesus returns at the end of history, he will judge us on how well we did our job.
Our job is building up the kingdom of God in our world. It means filling our world with love rather than hate, filling our world with truth rather than falsehood, filling our world with Christian compassion rather than cold indifference.
This is the message of today’s reading. It is the message that Jesus is the promised Messiah. It is the message that Jesus will come again at the end of time. It is the message that Jesus will judge us when he comes on how well we built up his Kingdome on earth.
Jesus gives us the example of John the Baptist to encourage us and to inspire confidence in us. John had a really difficult mission to fulfill. His unwavering faith and steadfast defense of truth made him great so much so Jesus called him the greatest among men. Jesus will declare us also great if we stand steadfast in our faith and courageously witness the truth.
In medieval times, this day—the Third Sunday of Advent—was called GaudeteSunday, which means rejoice. As we pray today, we also rejoice that the Lord does not fail to show his power and might. We rejoice because the light of truth has destroyed the darkness of sin. We rejoice because we have been drawn by the truth and Jesus Christ is the truth. We rejoice at the thought that Jesus is going to be reborn in our lives as love, mercy, forgiveness and spirit of humble and sacrificial service during this Christmas season. During this season, let us joyfully share God’s bountiful grace, forgiveness, and mercy with others. What Jesus commanded the disciples of John the Baptist, he commands us as well: Go and tell others what you hear and see.