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Friday, 09 December 2022 06:59

Celebrating At Home - 3rd Sunday of Advent

Are you the one?
(Matthew 11:2-11)

This Sunday marks the turning point in the Advent Season. Traditionally called Gaudete Sunday it is a day of rejoicing that the Saviour is near. The focus shifts from the final coming of Christ at the end of time to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem. The note of joy is symbolised by the inclusion of the colour rose among the purple of the Season.
The joyful first reading from the prophet Isaiah proclaims that God is on his way to save his people.
This coming brings healing and rejoicing and an end to sorrow and lament.
Using images of farmers and prophets, the letter of St James urges patience in our waiting for God. A kind of patient certainty is the attitude of the disciple.
Perhaps it is actually us who are slow in responding to God; slow in letting the message of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit transform our lives so that we too might have power to bring healing and joy. In the Gospel Jesus fulfils the prophecy of the first reading about the Messiah. John the Baptist asks, “Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?” The words of Jesus clarify his identity and that of John the Baptist. Jesus comes, not as the kind of warrior-messiah, slaughtering and slashing, but as ‘the kindness of God’, tending the sheep, healing and liberating the needy - the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor.
But is Jesus the ‘one’ for us, or are we really waiting for someone or something else to save us?
Our Christmas can’t simply be about Jesus’ birth a long time ago, celebrating an historical anniversary. It has to be more than that - the celebration of a fresh discovery of an ever-deepening presence of Christ in each of us.
Rejoice! God is not only ‘on his way’, he is already here!

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