From Our Pastor's Desk
From Our Pastor's Desk
Sunday, December 11, 2022 – Third Sunday of Advent - Cycle A Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10, Psalm 146 “Lord, come and save us”, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11
My dear brothers and sisters, we are in the middle of the Advent Season and the Prophet Isaiah in the first reading says “The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.” This is also the joy of Advent, and that of every day: Jesus is near us. He is nearer every day and he brings us joy and not affliction.
The Angel said to Mary “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you”. It is the nearness of God which makes the virgin rejoice. And the nearness of the Messiah will make the unborn Baptist show forth his joy in the womb of Elizabeth. Later, the Angel will say to the Shepherds: Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day a savior… Joy is to possess Jesus; un-happiness is to lose him.
Rejoice, because the Lord is hand and you will see his glory. We come close to him whenever we want to. In a few days it will be Christmas, a great feast for us Christians, but also for the whole human race, which without knowing it, is looking for Christ. Christmas is coming, and God wants us to be joyful like the shepherds, like the wise men, like Mary and Joseph.
We shall be full of joy if our Lord is really present in our life, if we have not lost him, if we have not allowed our sight to be clouded by tepidity or lack of generosity. When one attempts to discover happiness along other paths which lead away from God, all one finds in fact is sorrow and misery. All those who, in one way or an-other, ever turned their back on God have had the same experience: they have proved that apart from God there is no true happiness. There can be nine. To find Christ and to remain in his company, is to possess a deep happiness which is new every day.
It is true that there is tension between what we expect with the coming of Jesus and what we see. But the mes-sage of this third Sunday of Advent is that Jesus is near and he comes to do works of compassion and mercy in the person of his Church. We can live with hope, rejoicing because now, as always, God is with us. May the Lord bless us, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Fr. Paschal Chester, SVD.