Gospel Reflection Dec 11 – Fr. Lynch
Sunday, December 11
Third Sunday of Advent
Mathew: 11: 2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
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.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
We are now celebrating the Third Sunday in Advent. As we continue our preparations for the Christmas season, we take a pause from the penitential aspects of the Advent season to rejoice. Literally, Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin. The Catholic Church uses the color rose to indicate a joyful feast day or holiday. Gaudete Sunday’s counterpart in Lent is Laetare Sunday, another break in penance to rejoice in hope as we approach Easter. During both days, a priest will usually wear rose vestments. As part of our rejoicing, you will notice that the priestly vestments change color for this One Sunday in Advent to the color “Rose” or “Pink” …My pride prefers to call it more of a “Salmon” color…Yes, that sounds a little more masculine! In all seriousness though it is an important Sunday where we do take time to truly rejoice.
In a very short time, we will celebrate Jesus’ birth, His Birthday, Christmas and the gift of Emmanuel-God is with us! The Gospel today reminds us of many who have come before the Christ to prophesize and announce His coming, including his cousin, John. While Jesus’ birth is truly miraculous for us all, John’s birth was against all odds as well. John’s mother, Elizabeth, was in old age and thought to be barren. There was a shame associated with this difficulty, and yet God does for her what she could not do for herself and provides.
Little did John know what God’s plan for him would eventually be, to pave the way for Jesus, the Messiah! John had a rather significant group of followers who were listening to Him and believing in His ministry, being baptized with water. The humility John demonstrates in continually pointing his believers to Jesus is an example which we can all draw something from. (Also, it is important to note that John and Jesus are cousins and even in prison John wants to make sure that He is shepherding His believers to the right person by asking questions, even from prison.)
We may have questions ourselves for God, what are they? Bring them with you to Mass this Sunday and place them on the Altar of Sacrifice and Rejoice! The Savior of the World, Jesus, is with us, to answer the questions our hearts long for and to ease our anxieties and fill us with JOY! St. Brigid of Kildare…Pray for us!
Fr. Tim Lynch