Lundi 23 octobre 2017

3rd Sunday of Advent year 3e dimanche de l’Avent, année ’B’

« I am a voice of One that cries in the desert : Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. »

Is.61,1-2a.10-11
Ps.Lc.1,47-55
1.Th.5,16-24
Jn.1,6-8.19-28

3rd Sunday of Advent year

 

« A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the Light so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the Light, he was to bear witness to the Light. »
 
John the Baptist is the reflection of light, already when he was in his mother’s womb had Jesus come to visit him. He is a man moved but the Holy Spirit : ’ I am the voice crying out in the desert : ’Make the ways of the Lord straight !’
 A voice !
He must have been a man of great gentleness, this man dressed in camel-skin. A man filled with great tenderness, feeding on locusts and eating wild honey. A man of gentleness and goodness, the precursor, pointing to Jesus. Sensitive to the One sent by God whose cross is already announced in the encounter at the Jordan.
’Amongst you is someone you do not know !’ 
How do we discover what is hidden ? John the Baptist suggests a fundamental attitude which is that of humility.
Very often in our lives this is how it is. John the Baptist accomplished this Word in a surprising way. If we wish to ’become what we are’, ’prophets’ we need to go through this path of becoming poor. And so, the Holy Spirit, the spirit of prophesy, will be within us. He is the strongest and we need to believe in Him. In all ages, the prophets have read the present time of God’s people in referring to fundamental events and the promises of the Master of history.
« This was the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him : ’Who are you ?
He declared, he did not deny, he declared ’I am not the Christ. »
So, they asked ’Then are you Elijah ?’ He replied ’I am not.’
’Are you the Prophet ?’ He answered ’No.’ So, they said to him ’Who are you ? We must take an answer back to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself ?
So, he said, as Isaiah prophesised :
’A voice of one that cries in the desert : prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight  John the Baptist answered : ’I baptise in water. John the Baptist’s witness has even more an impact in that he answers Levites and priests sent by the religious authorities of Jerusalem. They are precise questions leading to John the Baptist deny three roles one after another : He is not the Messiah ; he is not Elijah who is to inaugurate the last days, In the time of the Church the Spirit Paraclete will bring about in the most intimate parts of our hearts an amnesia bringing up to date Jesus’ Words and an awakening of a hope in his promises. »Now, those who had been set were Pharisees, and they put this question to him, ’Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah and not the Prophet ?’ John answered them, ’I baptise with water ; but standing among you-unknown to you- is the one who is coming after me ; and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandal."
This happened at Bethany, at the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising. These people who are on a ’visit’ are not on the level of the Love of God, they are on a ’level’ of an identity control. They have to send back a report to those who sent them. Well, they are going to pass by what is essential and won’t meet Jesus’ precursor !
John the Baptist faces up to this rejection, he knows that those sent from Jerusalem will decide how to prepare for Jesus to be rejected’ wasn’t heard by the priests and Levites. This Word such a beautiful one, they could have recognised it. I am not the Word, I am not the Incarnate Word, I am the ’voice’, I utter cries. I am a voice who cries out. Who cries out goodness, tenderness, justice. This cry is that of the poor, prisoners, captives, just a all prophets cried out.
It is by his being ’that John the Baptist bore witness. May the Holy Spirit have us re-read our past in his Light, in order to revitalise Jesus’ Hope which he placed in the heart of our lives, in calling us to follow Him.

We ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to comfort our spirit so that all of our life b thanksgiving and prayerful intercession.