Third Sunday of Advent Mt 11, 2-11
Today we are on the 3rd Sunday of Advent which is called "Gaudete Sunday".
Rejoicing, exulting, crying out for joy, the text of Is 35 insist on the call to joy that the coming of the Saviour. But, do we have so many reasons to rejoice? If we are happy, it is because the Lord is near. We are waiting for the coming of the Lord but Jesus has already come. We are in Advent season but Christmas is already there.
We have heard today’s Gospel that John the Baptist is in prison and he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah. In prison, John the Baptiste is also imprisoned in his questioning, in his doubts. This question is terrible. It seems John the Baptist was not sure himself. The Messiah is not quite corresponding to his criteria.
We do not forget what he said on the last Sunday: “Prepare the way of the Lord… There is among you someone whom you do not know… Convert yourselves… change your life…” He announces his coming . But he also doubts of his presence
Like John the Baptist, we can also be locked in our doubts, our questions. We can also sink into certainties that are not the truth of the gospel. Too often we get the wrong idea about Jesus.
I saw a short film "The Chosen", during the retreat with the young people. It is about the beginning of the gospel, with a shepherd, his concern is to understand the Scriptures, to know how the Messiah would coming. But the Pharisees rebuke him, get rid of him as if He was not worth to discuss with them. Eventually he was one of those in the field who first met the Messiah in a really simple place, a simple family. They are overjoyed to tell others this good news but no one believes them.
As John the Baptist, the Pharisees, and the shepherd, the question is, what is our expectation? what/who is our hope? In the Gospel, Jesus is well known not to reply directly but often with a question "What do you think?" What Does the Bible Say? Who is the neighbours of this person? And today, Jesus does not give the disciples of John and John himself the answer but he invite them to think for themselves: “Go and tell John what you hear and see” Mt 11
The signs as a badly dressed man in the desert, a child in a manger, blind people who see, deaf people who hear, dead people who come back to life are there. I would say there are four verbs that we need to take into consideration to see, to hear, to walk, to speak. Spiritually, We are lame, blind, deaf and dumb.
The signs are still there today. Jesus is there. He is present among us. All this is around us but we don't see it, we don't understand it. We have to open your eyes and our heart. We must come out of ourselves and open up to others, not to judge and condemn as Saint James reminds us.
This should be the approach of each of us in this season of Advent to welcome the joy of Christmas and fully realize the moment when God comes to us.