Third Sunday in Advent

This week we light one candle for joy, one bright candle for joy, because He brings joy to everyone He comes, He comes. It’s the pink Sunday of Advent known as Gaudete Sunday, it is related to Laetare Sunday in Lent, both of these days the Priests have the option to wear rose colored vestments. It is a reminder to us of the joyous anticipation as we wait for the Lord’s coming.

Turning to the readings once again we start in Isaiah however this is much later on in the book and most scholars agree that this was written by a second Isaiah. In the reading we have a poem which offers us hope. All the earth will rejoice and God will come to strengthen the weak and feeble, saying Be strong, fear not! The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will leap and the dumb will sing. These are the things that the Messiah will do when he comes. So we need to have joyful hope in the Lord.

As we head to the second reading we hear from one of the “catholic letters” as they are not to any individual group of people The Epistle of James was considered by Martin Luther as an “epistle of straw.”  Anyways we are reminded by James that we need to be patient. James likens the wait to that of a farmer, after they plant the seeds it takes time for the plant to grow into fruit. Furthermore there may be fruit but it has to be ripe before it can be picked. James urges us to look at the example provided by the prophets of old as to the waiting.

Finally we reach to Gospel reading we continue with the story of John the Baptist from last week although we are several chapters from where we left off. John is in prision and he hears about the things Jesus is doing so John send his disciples to ask if Jesus is the one or should they look to someone else as the Messiah. Jesus tells them to tell John about what they see The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the dead are raised, these echo what we heard in today’s first reading. As John’s disciples were going to report what they had seen Jesus tells the crowd that John is/was the messenger that was sent before to make straight the paths and level the mountains. Then there is a strange little aspect to the reading as Jesus says the John is the greatest born of woman, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. I hope that we can all follow the lead of the prophets especially that of John the Baptist as we go out and proclaim the kingdom of God to the entire world. We hear the command each week to go forth and bring what we hear at Mass out into the world.