Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning to you all. This third Sunday of Advent, is often called 'rejoice’ Sunday. This joyful spirit is marked by rose color candle of our Advent wreath. The liturgy of the word God is about the coming of Messiah and it is a hymn of joy. Today’s readings give the message of joy.
In the First Reading of today, Prophet Isaiah portrays the joyful advent of the Lord as a healing, transforming event. In particular we have the images of physical healing that God will come to bring – once more the weak hands and feeble knees will be made strong, the blind will see again, the deaf will hear again, the lame will walk again and the dumb will speak again. There will be no more sorrows because our God is coming to take all that away. Through all these liberating actions, the glory of the Lord is being revealed for all to see.
These actions are referenced in today’s gospel. While john the Baptist was in prison for denouncing King Herod Antipas errors, he hears about the things that Jesus has been doing. He has a little doubt whether he is messiah or not. Because he had been expecting a violent judgment day. It would be initiated by the coming Messiah with fire. To make clear his doubt, he sends some of his disciples to Jesus with a question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus replies “Go and tell John what you hear and see.” Jesus does not offer a clear yes or no response to John’s question. Instead, drawing mostly from the Prophet Isaiah which we hear in the First Reading today, Jesus describes the Messianic age as having begun with his preaching and his works. He informs the disciples of John to go back and tell what they heard and saw namely, the blind people have their sight restored, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the Good News is being proclaimed to the poor.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice! The Lord is near.” There is such beauty and richness in the Scripture Readings chosen for this Sunday of Advent. The theme is twofold: God is coming to save us, so, we must be filled with joy and must patiently prepare ourselves for the arrival by repenting.
In this Advent season of grace, we are being asked to focus on the messianic signs of healing and goodness that surround us. we should be to open our hearts to the 'miracles of life' wrought by Jesus Christ. They give us great joy. As people of Advent expectation, today we are called to be sensitive to the mystery of the 'healing joy' and to be efficacious bearers of Christian joy. we need to 'experience the joy of salvation' – that power of healing and wholeness which Jesus can bring into our lives. May our mighty God bless you all with joy and protection.
Yours in Christ,