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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.

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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.”

Reflection

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.

Pray

  • 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?

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