Third Sunday of Advent

Is. 35:1-6, 10 | Ps. 146:6-10 | James 5:7-10 | Mt. 11:2-11

Today we celebrate Gaudete Sunday which means Rejoice!  We are reminded that we are now half-way through the time of preparation and anticipation of Christmas.  The readings pick up that joyful anticipation and call us to enter into it as well.  Upon reading Isaiah, it is almost impossible not to become involved.  The verses seem to take on a rhythm of their own and call us to realize that we are anticipating the celebration of the birth of Christ who has already come into the world.  He has strengthened Zion and brought about the glory of Lebanon.  We are promised that the blind will see and the deaf will hear.  Isaiah is not necessarily speaking about the physical eye and ear.  He is calling those of us with spiritual blindness and deafness to come to hear and know God’s word.

James calls us to have patience as we await the coming of God.  The Gospel seems to echo these readings.  John sends messengers to Jesus to find out if He is the Messiah.  Jesus responds using all the imagery of Isaiah so that the apostles would recognize who He was.  Jesus then tells us about John the Baptist and who he was.  Without a doubt, Jesus has great love and compassion for John.  Yet, Jesus tells us that those who follow Him are on equal footing with John.

Take time this day to rejoice in and celebrate all the wonderful things God has done for you.  Listen to the Good News and allow it to touch your inner hearing and sight.  Draw closer to Jesus this day.

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