11 December 2016
3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Cycle C. Rose/Violet.
Is 35: 1 – 6a, 10 / Jas 5: 7 – 10 / Mt 11: 2 - 11
From the 1st Reading: Is 35: 5 – 6
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unsealed. Then will the lame leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb sing and shout. For water will break out in the wilderness and streams gush forth from the desert.
From the Gospel Reading: Mt 11: 2 – 11
When John the Baptist heard in prison about the activities of Christ, he sent a message by his disciples, asking him: "Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?"
Jesus answered them, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers made clean, the deaf hear, the dead brought back to life and good news is reaching the poor. And how fortunate is the one who does not take offense in me."
As the messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "When you went out to the desert, what did you expect to see? A reed swept by the wind? What did you go out to see" A man dressed in fine clothes? People who wear fine clothes live in palaces. What did you actually go out to see? A prophet? Yes, indeed, and even more than a prophet. He is the man of whom Scripture says: I will send my messenger ahead of you to prepare the way before you.
"I tell you this: no one greater than John the Baptist has come forward among the sons of women, and yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
Not seeing Jesus as a fiery reformer. John the Baptist send his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?" Jesus answers by pointing to what is happening, quoting what the prophet Isaiah had said about the works of the expected Messiah: "the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers made clean, the deaf hear, the dead brought back to life and good news is reaching the poor." Jesus repeated what he had proclaimed at the synagogue at Nazareth, "Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen." (Lk 4: 21)
If an unbeliever were to ask now for evidence that the Messiah has come, what answer could we give? Can these be Messianic times when three of every four human beings do not know Christ? When one of every four is hungry every day? When violence and wars continue to destroy and kill? Can we say that, as the heavens proclaim the glory of the Creator God, the earth proclaims the coming of the Messiah-Christ?
We should remember two things: that the kingdom of Christ, though here, is not yet and that the kingdom of God are indeed invisible.
As Vatican Council II wrote, the Church "becomes on earth the budding forth of that kingdom." We are a pilgrim people, fashioning the kingdom and the rule of Christ over human hearts through tears and trembling, through suffering and death, in the midst of sin and selfishness.
Though Jesus himself declared that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand," he also said that the kingdom of God is "within us." It is "a kingdom of holiness and grace."
Though God's kingdom is not fully established, though God's rule is primarily hidden in our hearts, it should have effects in our everyday world of flesh and blood. In other words, why are we not holier than we are? Why are we not more visible and transparent signs that Christ is with us?
Advent lays an awesome responsibility on all believers, to let the world see that "he-who-is-to-come" is indeed with us. We are the works that reveal, or conceal him. Advent calls us to constant conversion, even radical reform, so that whether playing or praying, laughing or weeping, living or dying, we radiate Christ and his kingdom to the world, here and now, wherever we are.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Fr. Victor R. Salanga, SJ
Antonio S. Evidente
Mark, Allan C. Campsagrado
Joana Mari G. Villanueva
Christopher & Lesley Meoli
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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