Written on: December 8, 2016
Our First Reading for the Third Sunday of Advent brings us back to Isaiah’s time.
It was a bleak time and yet, so much was promised:
For me, these Old Testament promises are a depiction of the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom Jesus also announced as a responsibility for us to realize on earth. In today’s Gospel, it is interesting to see how John and Jesus are ‘on the same page’.
“When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of Jesus”, he sends his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one to come?”
Jesus does not say, “Yes I am”. Rather, Jesus describes his works.
In concrete words, he describes the Kingdom that has begun:
And so it must be that the Kingdom we are slowly realizing will come to pass as each of us works, usually with others, to establish it in our own acre of life. God will help, just as the patient farmer’s work is helped by nature’s ways in our Second Reading from St. James. Building the Kingdom will take patience, as James counsels; and the Apostle adds some practical advice:
meanwhile, no complaining or judging what others are doing or not doing.
At the end of our Gospel, Jesus gives high praise to his cousin John for preparing the way for His coming but Jesus’ higher praise is for the least one in heaven who, apparently, has done the works that build the Kingdom.
Sister Barbara Harrington lives and ministers in the Buffalo, NY area. She is lending her abundant Spanish skills to Parish work and wherever she is needed. Barbara lends a bit of joy and laughter wherever she goes, and is especially happy to be back in her home town.