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Reflection: Third Week of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 35:1-6,10

Psalm 146

Letter of St. James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

“See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,

being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.”

-Letter of St. James 5:2

\"\"The readings for this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, are all about hope and patience. In both Isaiah and in the Gospel we are reminded of the things that are to come, and what should give us hope. Jesus, in the Gospel, says to His disciples, “The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” (Mt. 11) These things that Jesus said should give many of us hope.

Perhaps we have a loved one who has lost their sight or hearing, or are afflicted with disease and sickness. Perhaps we ourselves are afflicted and suffering. Let us take comfort and hope in the words of Isaiah 35: 4. “Be strong, fear not! Here is your God. He comes with vindication and He comes to save you.”

As we look at the struggles and sufferings in our lives, it is easy to be burdened down. It is easy to become frustrated, angry, and sad when we see the news of wars, crime, and politics. But let us not loose hope. As we go into this third week of Advent, let us remember that our God is faithful and He has not abandoned us nor the world. One day our suffering, sorrow and mourning will be no more and there will be only joy and gladness. However, we must be patient. In St. James’ letter, he reminds us of this: “Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord.”

The example St. James gives is one of a farmer. Each year the farmer plants his seeds and has to wait for the seeds to grow. Some years the farmer waits for rain, but there is only drought. Other years there is an abundance of rain for the crops. All the farmer can do is patiently wait for the rains to come or stay away. This is how we must also be. We must be patiently waiting for the Lord’s coming.

Being patient though, does not mean do nothing. Instead we must be patient and make our hearts firm in the Lord. We must put an end to complaining and judging, or else we one day will be judged. Through our hardships let us have patience and draw closer to God.

Prayer: Come Lord Jesus, help make our hearts firm in You, even amidst the trials and sufferings. Let us remember that our hope and joy is found in You. Amen.

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