Gospel Reflection for December 15, 2019, 3rd Sunday of Advent
Sunday Readings: Isaiah 35.1-6,10; James 5.7-10; Matthew 11.2-11
In his ministry Jesus is not hacking dead branches off the family tree of Israel nor winnowing hypocrites from among repentant sinners as John expected he would. Jesus is so different from the axe-wielding, chaff-winnowing judge that John expected, that he sends messengers to ask Jesus –“Are you the one to come?” Jesus answers, “Go tell John what you see and hear: the blind see; the lame walk; lepers are cured; the deaf hear; the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them.” (Matthew 11.2-5)
As messiah, Jesus reveals the compassionate heart of God. He does not come to exert destructive, judgmental power over a suffering people but to bring wholeness and salvation. This gospel calls Matthew’s community and us today to examine our expectations of God’s reign and receive the blessing Jesus extends to all who do not stumble at his mission of compassion but continue his life-giving work.
What hopeful actions can you bring to those you love this season? What judgments can you let go?
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