Third Sunday of Advent
Oh come, oh come, Immanuel! Today’s readings regard the Lord as both Savior and Healer. The first reading from Isaiah tells of the glory and power of God: It is a plea for the Lord to display His might; to strengthen the weak; to comfort the fearful; to give sight to the blind; heal the deaf, the lame, and the mute. It reminds the faithful that when the Lord comes, sorrow and mourning will be replaced with joy and gladness. Moreover, the Psalmist implores the Lord to come and save the faithful. The psalm itself, much like the reading from Isaiah, recounts the mighty and healing works of the Lord: He brings justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry; He sets captives free; raises up the lowly; and punishes the wicked.
During this time of Advent, we as Christians should rely on our faith and hope in the Lord. This season is not only a season of anticipation and waiting; it is also a season of reflection, with the purpose of acknowledging our deep-seated need for a Savior who will heal us of our sins and infirmities. It is a time to rejoice, but also to repent. Each day of Advent is an opportunity to recognize and see ourselves in these readings: as the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute, while perhaps not physically, but in a very real sense, spiritually. During this period of waiting for the Christ Child, let us pray to develop His sight, His language, and His actions. Let us open our hearts and minds, casting off our pride, so we can become children again, alive with the charity and joy of the newborn babe in Bethlehem.
Advent is a time for anticipatory waiting, rejoicing, and repenting, but we mustn’t forget that it is also a time to offer our afflictions to the Lord in the hope of saving and healing. Whatever hurts or anxieties we may have during this season, let us with great confidence raise our pleas to the King of Kings, the Lord of Hosts, and the Source of all comfort.
Emily Casey, Catholic Studies Masters of Arts '17