Gospel Reflections

3rd Sunday of Advent

Matthew 11:2-11

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Rebeca Spires

Published: December 11, 2016

Well, here we are in the middle of Advent, a complete four week Advent! This season, with Christmas and all, is just too fantastically wonderful. Think about it: God almighty, creator of heaven and earth, all knowing, all good, in paradise, decides to come to live in our midst. And not just be in our midst but actually be one of us. This is totally too much to ever comprehend with our simple intelligence. No matter, we don’t have to understand how it happens, just believe and trust and live in the glow that it does happen.

During Advent we follow the story of God’s people in their long wait for the Messiah, and we find that a lot of it is like our lives today with ups and downs, falls and risings, mistakes and successes... All the same, TODAY, in the midst of the memories, we are called to be especially happy, joyful, and strong. “Strengthen weak hands, steady wobbly knees, generate enthusiasm, and sing with infinite joy radiating from your face!”  (Isaiah 35:3-4.10)

Joy? Don’t you know that the world is a mess? Racism, intolerance, violence, hunger, etc. etc. Joy - Why? “Because tears are on the way out, God is coming to save, to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf…”  (Isaiah 35:5-6 and Matthew 11:5)

Of course the world is a mess, so be strong! says James 5:7-10. “Don’t complain about others but stand firm with a strong heart because the Lord is coming. It is hard, but consider the prophets, models of suffering and strength as they spoke in the Lord’s name.”

And speaking of prophets, see the Gospel. Jesus first answers the query of John’s disciples with an irrefutable allusion to Isaiah. Then he turns to the crowd and speaks of John, the greatest prophet and more – the Messiah’s own messenger. What a model John is! No softy, he leads an austere life. With strong hands, steady knees, firm voice he cries into the wilderness of evil and indifference that the Lord comes to save, that we are each and all called to carry on the Lord’s own saving mission. That is: give food to the hungry, health to the sick, sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, shelter to the homeless… We all know the different levels implied here, the different types of blindness, deafness, hunger, illness… And, of course, as we go about doing that we must not forget to give warm hugs and all love for these. Give hope and comfort to the lonely, abandoned, excluded and unseen.

This is the Savior’s mission,
not easy but so beautiful it makes you glow.

Rejoice always in the Lord!
We are so blessed! God is so good!

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