3rd Friday in Advent, December 16, 2022
IS 56:1-3a, 6-8 Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8; Jn 5:33-36
Today marks the end of the third week of advent, and where we end the preparation of our hearts. Tomorrow, we begin our focus on the coming of our Savior. It marks the beginning of the time we focus on the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. So today, for the last time in Advent, we declare the light of Jesus, the burning light so bright, that we cannot ignore it. The prophet Isaiah continues his exhortations to us, telling us to do what is right, to make sure we are focused on the right goal and make sure we are ready. “Blessed is the man who does this,” Isaiah proclaims. The question surely for us is, are we doing that? Are we focusing our efforts on all the good we need to do? Are we preparing for the coming of the Messiah who IS all that good?
John the Baptist brought forth the message of repentance, a burning light proclaiming the one who is to come. But Jesus says, that light is nothing compared to the light Jesus is carrying. The works that the Father gave Jesus to do. As we continue to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus, let us change our focus from the one of reflection, to the one of praise. “O God, let all the nations praise you!” Psalm 67 declares. By praising God we acknowledge our weakness and we humble ourselves before the Lord. But we also acknowledge the greatness of God, how He chose to send us Jesus and have Jesus perform all these miracles, so we know how great God is.
Finish this week out strong, praising God for all He has done. And then focus on that little baby that is to come. Tomorrow, as I said, starts the Octave before Christmas. The time to focus on the prophecies of Jesus. Listen for the “O” antiphons said before the Gospels and listen for them as we sing “O Come, O Come Emanuel” during the liturgy. They are the basis for WHY God sent Jesus down to become one with us on earth. It is the fulfillment of the beginning and the end of the salvation promised to us by God. May God have pity on us and bless us; may He let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon the earth; among all nations, your salvation! Praise God!