When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Come, Lord Jesus!
This weekend, we find ourselves at the midpoint of Advent, awakened to a new season with our hearts filled with hope for the coming of the Lord this Christmas. We continue to prepare the way for His coming through repentance and the Sacraments. Blessed by our preparations, our hearts feel great joy as the time is drawing near for the birth of Christ.
This joy was also in the heart of Mary as she visited her cousin Elizabeth. As a young, pregnant woman, Mary left her home and traveled several days on foot to the hill country to visit her (cf. Lk 1:39). Elizabeth, despite her advanced years, was also pregnant and happy to welcome Mary. The two faithful women – both pregnant in accord with God’s mysterious will – share delight in the unexpected gift of motherhood.
Like Mary and Elizabeth, we are blessed with joy because we “believe(d) the Lord would fulfill His promises” (Lk 1:45). Because of the great joy of being loved by God, we, in turn, share that love with others. We can joyfully proclaim to all that Our Savior will be born this Christmas!
Therefore, let us prepare. Let us spend time during Advent in prayer and by attending Mass to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, both at Christmas and at the end of time. After we are spiritually fed, we will share in Mary’s joy and spread that love to all we meet.
As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
+ Bishop Schlert
Download the Third Week of Advent Calendar by clicking here.