Third Week of Advent

12-15-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

In the liturgical year, we are in the third Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting. It is a season ofwaiting for the coming of the Lord. Coming of the Lord could be understood at least in three ways: The Lordcame in the form of a human baby two thousand years ago; The Lord comes even today in the Word andSacrament; The Lord will come at the end of times. In the season of Advent, the church invites us to becomeaware of the fact that as pilgrims on the face of the earth we are all waiting!

The readings of today tell us of the necessity to wait for the Lord and prepare our hearts to receive him.At the same time, they invite us to discover who the messiah is and how we can identify him. This Sunday iscalled “Gaudete Sunday” from the first word of the Entrance Song in Latin, giving a call to rejoice. As a symbolof this rejoicing the penitential violet visualize of the vestments are changed to rose color. So, the Mass text andreadings today are full of joy, especially the Entrance Song that tells us to rejoice in the Lord always and tellsthem to rejoice again because the Lord is near.

In the first reading Prophet Isaiah sees new life in a once-barren land. God is coming to save his people.They can visualize the transformation and identify the presence of the Lord. In the second reading St James refersto farmers and prophets as examples of patient waiting. Christians can learn from them as they look for the comingof Christ and wait for him patiently. In the Gospel Jesus indirectly claims to be the Messiah. He points to theactions that exemplify the presence of the Messianic age. He praises John as a prophet and one even greater thana prophet, a person who prepared the way of the Lord.

If there is one holy woman who desired the coming of Christ with all her heart, it is truly the Most BlessedVirgin Mary, she who brought into the world the Son of God! Her desire was immense, and it surpassed, withoutany doubt, that of John the Baptist, whose desire nonetheless exceeded that of all the other men and women ofhis time. But at the same time, the humility of Mary was so great, forever surpassing that of anyone else, that shetruly considered herself to be the last of all the servants of God… There is no doubt that when Jesus spoke of the“least”, the person he thought of was Mary, his Mother. Today we are called to prepare the way for Jesus to comeinto our own hearts but also to prepare other people’s hearts so that they, too, may experience the joy of salvationthat healing, wholeness and holiness which meaning to our lives. But Isaiah tells us that God’s glory is reallyextraordinary glory is God’s compassionate love. This love is truly glorious in the way it goes beyond anythingwe could imagine or realistically hope for from God. So we see God’s glory whenever we have an intimation ofthe awesome greatness of God. We experience God’s when we know how much God wants us to have the fullnessof joy. So let’s pray together now both in thanks for this glory and in commitment to help make it more visible.