3rd Sunday of Advent Reflection
3rd Sunday of Advent – December 13, 2020
Reflection by Sr. Laurentine Morgan, osu
“A man named John was sent From God. He came for testimony to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light but came to testify to the light.”
As we pray and reflect upon the scripture readings for the third Sunday of Advent, the primary theme is that of eliciting joy. As we prepare and await the rebirth of Jesus in our hearts and lives today, we bear witness to the God of love as he continues to act through the goodness of his people.
The first reading informs us of the promised Messiah coming as savior and liberator who will free us from our bondage. Then, in the second reading we hear Saint Paul implore us to “Rejoice always” by leading holy, blameless lives because Christ is faithful to his promise that he will come again. Finally the Gospel proclaims to us that John the Baptist came to witness and testified to Jesus, the light of the world. This is the cause for rejoicing – knowing that it is he who dispels the darkness. And we, like John, through our baptism, are charged with being witnesses to the truth that Jesus is the light that will illuminate the obstacles before us. Reflecting the light of Christ in our lives helps extinguish the darkness in the lives of those around us. This is good news that brings joy!
Although the scripture readings are thousands of years old the message it trumpets is pertinent today. The reading from Isaiah announced:
“the spirit of the Lord is upon me… He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God.”
During the last eight or nine months we have all been in a kind of bondage that has imprisoned us, put fear in our hearts, isolated us from those we love. It has broken our hearts with the grief of losing loved ones. The virus has wearied our health care professionals, has dampened their spirits and stolen their vital energy.
It has been a difficult time. It seems we are powerless to overcome the invisible virus that continues to cause so much pain, loss, and heartache to the people of this world. Yet in the midst of this darkest hour there is hope, there have been so many many individuals who have witnessed to the light, who have dispelled the darkness of this pandemic. Those who by their indomitable spirit have addressed the needs of those around them by their acts of courage in caring for the sick among them; those who have tenderly held the souls dying, separated from loving families who could not be with them as they breathe their last breath. The kindness of strangers reaching out with food, clothing, blankets, masks, helping hands in so many ways. People of all ages, colors, religions – young and old alike providing assistance, encouragement, good cheer and much needed help to relieve the burdened. Now, we receive the promise of a vaccine to begin the eradication of this terrible virus. Truly we can rejoice! For the Christ lives! Lives in the hearts and souls of those around us, reflecting the light of Christ here now – with you, with me.
This Advent Season, and beyond let us continue to reflect Christ’s unconditional love and forgiveness with tender and compassion hearts. May we comfort broken lives and help their fearful hearts grow strong in faith. Let us open our eyes and awaken our hearts to God’s presence in ALL those we meet. Salvation is at hand, and we await it with rejoicing hearts. O Emmanuel – God with us!