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Third Sunday in Advent

December 12, 2019

Third Sunday of Advent

December 15

 

Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10

Psalm 146

James 5A:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

“Be patient, bothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord.”  These are the words of Saint James in our second reading.  So, the season of Advent is a good time to consider or even reconsider the great Christian virtue known as “patience.” 

I must admit that I am not a very patient person.  But I’m getting better…I think.  I can say this because I actually say a prayer to help me with this virtue and I would like top teach it to you today.  “Dear Lord, please help me have patience…AND MAKE IT QUICK!  Amen.”

Patience is defined as “bearing pains or trials without complaining.”  It is “showing forbearance under stress.”  It has something to do with being steadfast.

The Season of Advent places us in a spiritual state of expectancy and provides us with an opportunity to think about the virtue of patience in our lives.  The message from James is a simple one; brothers and sisters, do not grow impatient with one another!

St. Matthew’s Gospel today allows us to reflect on John the Baptist.  When I think of John I have the impression that patients was not his strong suit.  Maybe I could teach him my patient’s prayer?  He was forceful, strong, and even impulsive regarding his ministry.  He wanted immediate action to his message.

John the Baptist bridges the Old and New Testament.  He is the last of the Old Testament prophets who point the way to the Messiah.  He is the first of the New Testament witnesses and martyrs.  But mostly, he is the herald who prepares the way for Jesus.

As we know John was thrown into prison and ultimately beheaded.  Since his martyrdom, and to this present day, the Christian community has suffered violence and persecution at the hands of violent nations and violent people.  The martyrs are witness to the truth – the truth of Jesus Christ and His saving plan for the world. 

Sisters and brothers, the love of our Lord Jesus compels us to bring His Word and His teachings to the world.  His message of peace, reconciliation, love of neighbor, love of God and awaiting the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven is now our responsibility.

The decorating of our homes, the buying of gifts, the meal planning and so forth is all part of it.  But the incredible joy of the birth of our Savior is what is most important.  Be thankful, be joyous, be expectant and, most importantly, “be patient.”  Always remember that Jesus is the eternal gift to us; YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.

Question of the Day:  During the Season of Advent will you place yourself in a spiritual state of expectance which will allow you to think about the virtues of patience in your life?   

Prayer:  Lord, You are eternal wisdom and patience.  Grant in me these qualities in order to love you more and serve you better.

Prosit

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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