December 11, 3rd Sunday of Advent

Gospel of Matthew 11:2-11

A Greater than John the Baptist has never been seen

John in his prison had heard what Christ was doing and he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?’

Jesus answered, ‘Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor; and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.’

  As the messengers were leaving, Jesus began to talk to the people about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the breeze?

No? Then what did you go out to see? A man wearing fine clothes?

Oh no, those who wear fine clothes are to be found in palaces. Then what did you go out for? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet: he is the one of whom scripture says:

‘Look, I am going to send my messenger before you;

he will prepare your way before you.

‘I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women,

a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.’

In my prayer, I feel drawn to ponder how John dared to stand at the edge of an era and hope for change. I recall how Pope Francis in 2015 prophetically proclaimed, ‘We are not living in an era of change but the change of an era’.

I pray for the grace to listen and act as a prophet does. For our beautiful but troubled world needs prophets of hope.

I pray that hope permeates our world