Sunday, December 12, 2010

Third Sunday of Advent

Reflection based on Matthew 11: 2-11

A Deeper Faith

The question sent by John the Baptist to Jesus from his prison cell may strike us as inconsistent with strong character and faith. "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" Did John not have certitude at this point about the identity of Jesus? Had he not identified Jesus earlier at the Jordan as the messianic Lamb of God? Yet perhaps this need to receive some confirmation from Jesus reveals not an hour of doubt, as we might first suspect, but a deeper quality of faith.

His ruminations on Jesus must have been concentrated and intense in the solitary darkness of his imprisonment. But a deeper reflection in faith leads a soul always to the greater mystery of God. More intense faith confronts us with the ultimate transcendence of a God not within our mind's limited grasp. This was likely John's own experience. He had come to know Jesus as the promised Messiah.

Perhaps now John received a grace to seek him in the fullness of his divinity. And so he desires some word from Jesus to confirm his intuition. Jesus' answer, quoting from Isaiah, may have given John a great light in that dark prison. "The blind regain their sight." Possibly with these words John's faith was fully opened to the actual truth of Jesus' divine presence.

Father Donald Haggerty

Almighty Father, increase our faith so that we may perceive your divine presence in all events and so prepare ourselves to welcome your Son with great love at Christmas.


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