Breaking Open the Word
By James Cavanagh
Dec. 12: The Third Sunday of Advent
This week’s second reading reminds us that even as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we mustn’t forget that he whose birth was accompanied by hymns of heavenly joy is also the one who “will come again to judge the living and dead.” As St. James says, “Behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” As we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ, we mustn’t lose sight of his second coming.
In this week’s Gospel Jesus doesn’t give a straightforward answer to John’s question. Rather, he points to what has been happening in his ministry. John’s question may seem strange at first. After all, didn’t he acknowledge Christ as “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (Jn 1:29)? Was John having doubts? Was he expecting a different kind of Messiah? As interesting as these questions might be, John’s question is really our question: Can we believe that Jesus Christ really is God incarnate? Jesus doesn’t answer the question directly so that we will have to make a decision of faith.
“Catechism of the Catholic Church”:
Pope Benedict XVI:
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. For information on subscribing to "Breaking Open the Word, click here. For archives click here.