• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 13 December 2019 17:05

Third Sunday of Advent 2019 - Gaudete Sunday

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

Third Sunday of Advent

Matthew 11:2-11

 

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestHow many of us whenever Christmas comes around, can’t wait to open up our gifts? Whenever somebody hands us a gift, we try to shake it, press on it to feel what could this be. If somebody gives us a long box we feel that it is a wine bottle. Sometimes, if it comes in a box, it must be chocolates. If it is a card, we sometimes expect that there’s some cash inside the card. Whenever we receive something, naturally we have expectations. Sometimes, they meet our expectation, sometimes not.

In the gospel for today, we see another part of the life of St John the Baptist. John the Baptist, after a life of preaching the gospel of repentance and preparing the way of the Lord, now finds himself in a different kind of wilderness, the wilderness of being in prison because he has offended Herod by saying that he should not marry the wife of his brother, Herodias. Amidst this seeming desolation of prison, he still managed to get some news about Jesus, through his own disciples. The news that he received though was a bit disturbing on his part. Perhaps because he had his own version of what the Messiah would be, that’s why he sent a message to Jesus through his disciples, “Are you the one who is to come or should we look for another?”

So, what made John the Baptist think that way? Perhaps because he had his own expectation on what a Messiah should be. Maybe, he was expecting a warrior Messiah like King David in the Old Testament, and hoping that Jesus would form a militant group that would try to depose the Roman Empire from Israel. Perhaps, he was expecting a firebrand preacher who would be making threats of sending people to hell if they didn’t repent. Or at least, he would be able to bring the temple leadership, the chief priests, Pharisees and Sadducees into accountability and end their hypocrisy in their lifestyle. However, he saw a different kind of Messiah that he wasn’t expecting. He saw a Jesus who loved to eat and drink with tax collectors and public sinners. He discovered a Jesus who touched and healed lepers. He heard of a Jesus who forgave a woman caught in adultery. He saw a Jesus who had fed the multitude. He heard of a Jesus who preached love and forgiveness. After all of that, Jesus assured John the Baptist that he was the Messiah that everybody was expecting according to the prophet Isaiah. Perhaps with this answer, John the Baptist was relieved that all his hard work of preparing for the Messiah wasn’t in vain.

Today, we celebrate Gaudete Sunday or Rejoice Sunday, we rejoice in joyful anticipation because the coming of the Messiah is becoming really close. With this anticipation, we also have our own expectations about the Messiah. Expectations are not bad but when expectations prevent us from having an open mind, then you’ll have a problem. So the question is, what’s our expectation of the Messiah? Maybe for us, Jesus is a problem solver, it means we only come to Jesus when we have a massive personal problem and hoping that he’ll be able to help us. Perhaps for us, Jesus is like a policeman, that’s why we try to be good because he might catch us doing sinful things and send us to hell. Maybe, Jesus is like a brother or a father or even a mother, where we can tell him everything and anything from our problems, wishes, frustrations and even our joys.

In this Sunday of Rejoicing, hopefully we find joy in the midst of the craziness as Christmas is coming ever closer. We find joy because we know that Jesus came to this world, not to punish it but to bring love and peace to all. We find joy because we know that our lives won’t be meaningless because Jesus came to this world to give us hope. Whatever our expectation of Jesus the Messiah, we should never forget that we should keep an open mind because it is only by having an open mind that Jesus can become for us more than what we have expected him to be.

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