Third Sunday of Advent

Readings

Is 35:1-6a, 10
Jas 5:7-10
Mt 11:2-11

Reflection

The Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the General Roman Calendar points out that Advent has a dual purpose, “for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered, and likewise a time when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period of devout and expectant delight (39).”
 
As Christians we can be thankful and full of joy for this reality. The season of Advent reminds us to celebrate that, through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus has come and has broken the power of sin and death. No matter what struggles and challenges we are faced with we live in the light of the redemption given to us by the Lord. We also look forward in anticipation and joy to that time that Jesus will come again and the full impact of God’s love for us will be a reality.
 
We live a time of tension between these two comings of Christ. The victory of salvation has been won for us when Jesus came two-thousand years ago. However, the fullness of that victory will only be accomplished when He comes again. This victory is similar to the victory that the allied forces had at D-Day during World War II. After the invasion of Normandy, the war, for all intents, was finished and victory was only a matter of time. Even though many battles had to be fought, victory was inevitable.
 
So, let me ask you a question that I frequently ask myself: “If Jesus Christ were to return tomorrow morning - what would you consider important to do right now?”
 
Now is the time of our salvation. Now is time we can make a difference in the world through our attitudes, relationships and actions. Let us live in the light of the coming of the Lord!
 
-Fr. Michael J. Higgins, TOR, President, Franciscan School of Theology