Click here if you don’t see subscription options
James T. KeaneDecember 16, 2020
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

A Reflection for the Third Wednesday of Advent

Like most things in 2020, this will be an Advent unlike any other. But each day, you can still take a few minutes to reflect on the coming of our savior at Christmas with short reflections on Scripture, written by the staff of America Media.

Subscribe to The Word in Apple PodcastsSpotify or your favorite podcast player and never miss a reflection. 

A reading from the Gospel of Luke

The disciples of John told him about all these things. John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”

When the men came to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’

At that time he cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind.

And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.

And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”


John the Baptist has something up his sleeve in today’s Gospel. And it’s probably not just honey and locusts. After all, the Scriptures suggest that John knows clearly who Jesus is and what the beginning of his ministry means for the Kingdom of God. And yet he still sends two of his disciples to ask: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”

I am reminded of the teachers I have had who refused to lecture but instead used the Socratic Method to try to draw knowledge and wisdom from their students through questions—making experience more important than rote memorization. John the Baptist is doing something similar here—in a sort of reversal of Jesus’s invitation to “Come and see,” he says “Go and find out.”

John the Baptist has something up his sleeve in today’s Gospel. And it’s probably not just honey and locusts.

Jesus doesn’t disappoint. The miracles fly fast and furious, and then Jesus gives them a message to take back to John. But they have already seen the miracles and heard the good news being preached. And so suddenly the two disciples start to realize what John the Baptist was getting at: I, John the Baptist, am not the one in whom you should put your hope. It isthis one, who cures the suffering and who proclaims the good news to the poor. This is the Messiah foretold in the books of the Prophets. Just like two similar disciples on the road to Emmaus later in Luke’s Gospel, the truth suddenly becomes clear.


  • Do I put other prophets—other idols—before Christ in my life?
  • Can Advent help me recenter that discipleship?
  • Who are the teachers and mentors in my life who have shown me the way to faith and understanding?

More from America

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

"Five years have passed since I visited this place with my dear brothers Bartholomew and Ieronymos. After all this time, we see that little has changed with regard to the issue of migration."
Pope FrancisDecember 05, 2021
My father shaped my concept of God, and Ignatian prayer brought me closer to my father and Christ.
Pierre ThompsonDecember 05, 2021
A Reflection for the Sunday of the Second Week of Advent
Kerry WeberDecember 05, 2021
A Reflection for the Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Maurice Timothy ReidyDecember 04, 2021