Third Sunday of Advent

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:

  • blooming abundance,
  • recompense,
  • vindication of every wrong,
  • great rejoicing and
  • an everlasting joy.

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:

  • the blind, the deaf and lame healed,
  • the dead (depressed?) raised and
  • the good news shared with the poor.

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.

BJH cropSister 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.


2 thoughts on “Third Sunday of Advent

  1. Fr. John Madiigan, O.M.I. says:

    Dear Sister Barbara,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your meditation on St. John the Baptist.
    In 2007 my beloved Aunt Pat on the Eve of Advent III completed her final Advent at Buffalo Sisters Hospital in Buffalo. I was present and commended her to Christ Jesus. Thank you.

    From a fellow Buffalo Native from Holy Angels.

  2. Karen Altman says:

    Thank you so much. For me it is always a blessing to have the readings spoken in simple yet spiritual words so that I can understand what is truly being put forth. May you and your whole Community have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a 2017 filled with joy.

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