READING OF THE DAY
First reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah
Is 35:1-6a, 10
The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.
Second reading from the Letter of James
Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“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.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Third Sunday of Advent
(Mt 11: 2-11)
God’s Word for Us
Dear people of God,
In God’s Word today, God the Father calls mankind to run to the joy of the Gospel, namely, to enjoy the face of God descending here on earth.
God the Father revealed to mankind that: From ancient times, the prophet Isaiah announced to all mankind: Rejoice, look forward to the day when the Savior comes to mankind in the flesh like many other children. God the Father tells humanity that because of His great love for mankind, the Son of God humbled Himself to become Man and to accompany and be with mankind. The Son of God, when He comes, will bring joy, happiness, and peace. The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will walk, the dead will be raised, and the poor will hear the Good News of the joy and happiness that God gives to all mankind.
God the Father tells humanity that: The Son of God came down to earth as a man, and is with and works with mankind. Since ancient times, mankind has been engrossed in earthly life, so few people have turned to the Word of God, that is, to the birth of the Son of God. Only a few people believe that the Son of God is in the midst of mankind. Those who believe in it enjoy happiness in the love of God the Father.
To this day, God the Father continues to call humanity: Look to heaven; it is the Son of God who dwells in the midst of mankind. Listen to and practice the Word of God, which is given by the Savior. It is love that will cover up the death and will erase hatred and the darkness that covers man. It is God’s love for humanity that will drive away all sins, drive away all passions and vices laid out by Satan to entrap the world.
God the Father invites people today: To stay awake while waiting for the Second Coming of God and to be awake in every moment to await the day when God calls your own soul and body out of this world. As people still walk on the earthly pilgrimage, the Son of God always accompanies and works with humanity to move them toward the happiness of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is joy and happiness that God gives to mankind. Humanity should stay awake, listen to God’s commandments, and practice them. The Word of God is always eternal, always happy, and always brings peace to people. Humans just have to live and practice according to God’s commandments, that is, to live the love that God is calling humanity every day. Let’s aim for the eternal Kingdom; let’s look forward to the future Kingdom. God the Father invites all mankind to rejoice in the joy of God’s love, given to humanity when the Son of God is in the midst of men.
Remember the prophet Isaiah prophesied about the day the Savior was born, about the day when the Son of God came to earth, about the happiness He would bring to mankind. God the Father also introduced the image of the messenger John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way for the Savior. John is a burning lamp, a lamp that opens the way for people to run to God. That is why God instructed John’s disciples: Go and report to John the Baptist, saying: The Son of God has come and dwells among you, and He is carrying out the commandment of the love that God has given people. That love is: opening the eyes of the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the dead to rise again, and blessed are the one who takes no offense at God.
God shows, through the image of John the Baptist, that He is a God of love, a God who is in the midst of humanity and continues to preach the Word that God gives to mankind. This preaching has the power to save human souls from the captivity of Satan, from the captivity of darkness. In addition, God also praised the forerunner, Saint John, as a prophet. The words of Saint John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Christ. His words proved to be true. His preaching proved to humanity that it is the love of God that is in the midst of humanity.
Therefore, God invites all mankind: to look towards heaven, to the day when the Son of God comes down to earth, to the day when God, the Savior of mankind, will come. But until today, God the Father wants mankind to celebrate the day the Son of God was born in the human world and look to eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven in the future. It is time to prepare the souls for the Second Coming so that God can bring joy and happiness to those souls who know how to be loyal and faithful to God the Father until the last breath.
Through that image, Paul himself called on all mankind: Be patient, calm, steadfast, and faithful while waiting for the day when God will free humanity from Satan’s captivity, that is, deliverance from the darkness that surrounds Satan. The important thing that God the Father wants to send to humanity today:
– Be always in the joy of God
– Walk in God’s love for humanity, in which God is in the midst, is with and walks with humanity in all places and at all times
– Stay awake and walk on the path of love that God Himself has called to all mankind, that is, to love God above all things and to love one’s neighbor like yourself.
Thanks Be to God. Amen.