WORD of the DAY
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.” (Mt 11, 3-6)
The Gospel of this third Sunday is dominated by a basic question asked of Jesus by John the Baptist who is in prison, through his disciples. It must be seen in all its drama: ‘Are you the living one or should we look for another?’ This question shows a sense of uncertainty and delusion that dwells in the Baptist’s soul, who seems to be a protagonist of this Advent week. From here we can deduce that John awaited a Messiah that was different than the one he referred to and that he himself imagined. In fact, the Baptist dreamt of a Christ who would have brought the definitive elimination of sin and sinners.
However, the mission of Jesus now does not seem to go in that direction, rather, it seems to take another road contrary to John’s messianic dreams.
Thus, John’s question retains all its gravity. In His response to John’s disciples, Jesus clearly perceives John’s mixture of uncertainty and of disappointment in regard to Him, especially when He says “Blessed the one who takes no offense in Me”, because in the original Greek, the word means something that can be an obstacle. To adhere fully to Jesus, we must overcome the ‘obstacle’ of a Messiah who is humble, poor, unarmed, merciful, and crucified!
On this third Sunday of Advent we are urgently invited to receive Jesus the Messiah as He is; as He is revealed in the Gospel and in the Word, also and above all, when He upsets our common places, our plans, and our expectations. Our God is never a God to be taken for granted, predictable; He escapes our many attempts to make Him in our image and likeness. Then we will see the blind regain vision, the lame walk, the leper purified, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the Gospel announced to the poor.
The Good News we preach is either reduced to words alone or is a concrete sign of a change happening in our depths, a miraculous transformation of our life. (R. Laurita)
The Voice of Advent Liturgy
Lord, always renew the offering of this sacrifice that actuates the holy mystery You instituted, and with Your divine power, make the work of salvation efficacious in us. Amen.
(Offertory Prayer for Advent Sunday III A)