Advent WreathThe Third Sunday of Advent

Intention: That in this season of hospitality and generosity, all of us will make a special place for those whose lives are wounded by need, misfortune or injustice.



Today’s Gospel | Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus 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.”

As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see?  A reed swayed by the wind?  Then what did you go out to see?  Someone dressed in fine clothing?  Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.  Then why did you go out?  To see a prophet?  Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is the one about whom it is written: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.  Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

During the season of Christmas, a popular image is that of Santa Claus checking his list of children to see if they deserve a visit from him.  Have they been naughty or nice?  Like many Yuletide trappings, this has its roots in more ancient and serious customs.  In this case, it harkens back to the Hebrew scriptures’ prophetic demand for people to examine honestly their own fidelity to God’s ways.  Today, we too are urged to follow this sacred call to faithfulness, to be part of ushering in forever the Lord’s year of favor, when good news will come to the afflicted, healing to the brokenhearted, liberty to captives, freedom to prisoners.  The true spirit of the season is that of the Nativity, of hearing and answering with our own lives the cries of the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed.  The time of Advent is a time to see peace on earth and good will toward all not as holiday sentiment but as compassion and solidarity with those who parts of our world have chosen to abandon.


Eternal Father, as the birth of our Lord approaches, we wait anxiously for the light of peace and love that he will bring.  Help us to make ourselves ready to receive these saving gifts, so that we then will be their bearers to people everywhere, especially those who are so often rejected or ignored in our world.  Just as Jesus came to them in humility and empathy, may we also seek to be with them and share the good news of God’s Kingdom.  We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.