By Fr. Andrew Kelly
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT – DECEMBER 15, 2013
Jesus Christ still has a way of both irritating and challenging the 2013 believing community. This is nothing new. According to Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 11:2-11), John the Baptist was having the same problem.
What John heard about Jesus was not what John expected of Jesus. John’s request from prison could easily be the request of the 2013 believing community: “Are you the one (Messiah) who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”
Jesus’ response to both John and the 2013 believing community is always the same:
“Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.”
Jesus is very aware that Jesus’ (and therefore the believing community’s) preoccupation and dedication to the people who have nothing can become a scandal and an obstacle to faith in Jesus.
If John and the 2013 believing community can see and hear the Advent presence of God in Jesus’ saving words and deeds toward the nobodies, then Jesus has only one thing to say: “And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Dec. 15-22
Is 35:1-6a, 10
Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a
Gn 49:2, 8-10
Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a
Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:14-18a