Homily :: December 17, 2017
12/17/17: Third Sunday of Advent
12/17/17: Third Sunday of Advent - Fr Dave Reeson
(7:52, 7.20 MB)
12/17/17: Third Sunday of Advent - Fr Pat Nields
(6:47, 6.21 MB)
In the first passage from Isaiah, we have the text which is quoted in Luke’s Gospel at the inauguration of Jesus’ public ministry. The speaker in the passage is empowered and commissioned by God to authorize such good news to the poor and downtrodden. In the Old Testament milieu, these words would have only been spoken by a king, for only a king would have been authorized to declare a year of jubilee. Hearing this passage alongside today’s Gospel passage from John, highlights the thematic emphasis that Jesus is King and rules with authority. This is a theme which John works with throughout his Gospel up to and including the crucifixion scene where Jesus “reigns” from the tree of the cross.
John’s Gospel today highlights the life and ministry of John in relation to Jesus who is the “Christ”, the anointed one of God. John’s importance to the narrative of Jesus’ life is that of the “announcer” who points to the dynamic intervention of God in human history in the life and ministry of Jesus. In art history, John is always pointing away from himself to Jesus or a representation of the “light of the world”. John “announces” the public ministry of Jesus.
The first letter to the Thessalonians is the earliest writing of Paul and speaks of the end times expectation that God will bring to fulfillment the work begun in the life of Jesus. Admonitions are given to the community to rejoice, pray and give thanks. If we are to understand the life of the fledgling Christian Church, it is under the banner of a community at prayer and giving thanks. Further, the community is charged to let the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit flourish in the Church.
As the community approaches the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord, these passages highlight the uniqueness of God’s breaking into the world in the life and ministry of Jesus who announced not just a year of favor from the Lord, but an entirely new existence of life in the Spirit.
By Dale J. Sieverding © 2008, OCP. All rights reserved.