Third Sunday of Advent
December 11, 2016
The signs of the season are all around us these days—displays in the malls, decorations in homes, music on the radio. Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman, and this is the Sunday Soundbite for the Third Sunday of Advent.
In the Gospel today, Jesus urges the disciples of John the Baptist to look for signs as well—signs that Jesus is truly the one sent by God. Such signs include dramatic transformations in people—physical disabilities healed, Good News proclaimed to the poor.
These signs are similar to those prophesied by Isaiah in today’s first reading: physical transformation in the bodies and hearts of God’s people, and in the desert lands where the Chosen People lived. Such signs herald the approach of God, coming to save the people, to turn their sadness and mourning into joy.
Such transformation is supposed to be connected to the joy we wish one another at Christmas. But not everyone automatically feels happy or carefree in this season—many bear burdens—economic, emotional, physical—which can seem heavier to bear during the holidays.
People of faith need to look beyond the superficial joy urged on us by holiday ads. We can be signs of Christ present to those searching for God. By sensitive listening, generosity toward others in need, assistance to those who are burdened, we become part of the transforming power of God’s reign, breaking into our world.