Sunday, December 11, 2016

3rd Sunday of Advent, A


Rejoicing

Matthew 11:2-11 

"Gaudete" means rejoicing.  But what the people of this generation rejoice in?  Malls? Money? A lot of gifts and merrymaking?

We have to distinguish what is true and false rejoicing.  If we feast on what is fleeting, what serves the self, orsurely, what is evil, then that is extremely false rejoicing.  There cannot be any joy except in Jesus alone.

The gospel points out the sources of true rejoicing:

First, the poor are helped

In the gospel, it says, "The blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor;"  If we see that life in the community is flourishing - the ignorant are taught, the poor are helped, the sick are visited, those who are dead in sin are raised to life in the Spirit; that is true rejoicing.  We need to invest in these every moment of our lives.


Second, Jesus in the ordinary

Jesus asked, "What did you go out to see? ... a man wearing fine clothes?"  Only in recognizing the presence of Jesus in each one of us can we detect true rejoicing.  Even the most ordinary person can be an instrument of Jesus.

Third, Jesus above all others

In the gospel, it says, "A greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is."  We are referring to Jesus, our Lord and King, and all that He stood for; we should prioritize Him in our lives.  This also symbolizes the triumph of goodness in the world, especially the goodness that comes from Jesus, who will bring about the final d
efeat of evil.

These are the sources of true rejoicing that the world cannot supply.  These will surely lead us to the ultimate good - God himself.

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