THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
December 15, 2013
GOSPEL READING: The Messengers from John the Baptist
When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to himwith this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” 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.
REFLECTION: Checking One’s Expectations
Every time I will start my learning sessions, I ask my participants to write down their expectations and later on, I encourage them to share it openly to the group as I take note of this one by one. What I do is to let them know that their expectations are all important to be covered but I also tell them some limitations just in case we cannot meet all their desired experience. I call this managing my participant’s expectations.
Much in life, our expectations are powerful because it creates the reality of what we want to happen. Let me put a contrast between the use of a thermometer and a thermostat. On one hand, a thermometer absorbs and measures the temperature, which is passive in nature while on the other hand, a thermostat has the power to adjust the temperature according to the needs of the user.
In the same manner, this is how our Gospel story unfolded today when the disciples of John asked Jesus about the fulfillment of the promise of the coming savior. All throughout in this Gospel passage, one could feel the hesitation and the unbelief of John’s messengers. In fact, Jesus used the following statements thrice and interchangeably to testify in behalf of John:
“What did you go out to the desert to see?”
“Then what did you go out to see?”
“Then why did you go out?”
These disciples were expecting a different kind of prophet. They were expecting a different kind of Messiah and they were all judging according to what they see and they have forgotten to see in eyes of their faith. With all of these false expectations Jesus responded to them through this:
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.
Jesus’ way was not just to look and speak like a Messiah but He lives, loves and leads like one. It was shown in His life. His miracles and wonders were just a consequence of His mercy and compassion to the lost, the least and the last. It is actually an invitation and a challenge for us to partake in this mission of bringing glad tidings to the poor and sinners.
‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.’
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ and now that John was in prison, it’s Jesus Who is testifying for him. We can also see here that both of them were speaking the TRUTH with LOVE or in latin, veritas cum caritate.
We are all called to be John the Baptist in our own way of preparing the way for others to know who Jesus is even if it entails suffering and persecution. And like this Gospel story, expect that Jesus will testify in our behalf as well. He will speak for us and He will be on our side most especially in times of trouble and when we are in need.
REFFLECTION: How can you prepare the way of the Lord in your life? How can you prepare people around you to receive the Lord in their lives?
a. At home?
b. In your workplace?
c. At school?
d. In your community?
PRAYER: “Lord Jesus, use me to testify for your love. Use my expectations to create great things for you and your people. Use my time, talent and treasure to bring glory to your name. Amen.”
ABOUT THE SHARER:
JC LIBIRAN is a lay-missionary, speaker, facilitator and author of “Byahe ni Juan: Life Lessons I Learned From Riding a Jeepney”. He is the Director for Campus Missions of the Light of Jesus Family (www.lightfam.com). You may contact him through his e-mail at JCLibiran@ymail.com or visit his website at www.JCLibiran.com
Advent, Cycle A, OP Laity, Truth, Love, Expectation, Attestation, Testimony