Third Sunday of Advent
Reading: Isaiah 35: 1-6; 10
Responsorial Psalm: PS 146: 6-10
“Lord, come and save us”
Reading 2: James 5: 7-10
Gospel: Matthew 11: 2-11
Matthew 11: 10 – “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare your way before you.”
Today’s Gospel presents John the Baptist as the messenger preparing the way for Jesus.
John speaks: “Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path…” He is saying that his job is to prepare for the mighty coming of the Lord. He is to build the highway that will facilitate his arrival.
A change is coming, a revolution is on the way, a disaster (the destruction of the old) is about to happen. Prepare the way of the Lord.
And what is the manner of preparation? It is a baptism of repentance. Baptism—an immersion in water—reminded first century Jews of the exodus, passing through the Red Sea, leaving the ways of slavery behind. God would humble the powers of their time as he once humbled Egypt and Babylon.
And repentance? It simply means going beyond the mind that you have. How our minds are conditioned by the fallen world! How our expectations are shaped, stunted by what has gone before. It’s time, John is saying, for a new mind, a new set of eyes, a new kind of expectation. God is about to act. Be ready!
Pray for the strength to pray often to our Lord.
With thanks to Holy Name of Mary Parish, Hunters Hill, who have supplied these daily Advent and Christmas 2019 reflections from their publication Daily Inspirations of Faith: A Season of Prayer – Advent to Epiphany 2019-20.