At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” (Luke 7:18-23)
Please read this scripture, let the words speak to you, place yourself in the moment.
The drama contained in the words you just read could not be more powerful . . . “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”
Then Jesus, once again, points to the importance of John the Baptist in salvation history.
John very likely sent his disciples to Jesus because he wanted them to hear and see firsthand for themselves the signs and proof that the Messiah had indeed come in the person of Jesus who was sent by the Father in heaven and anointed by the Spirit at the River Jordan.
John helped us to prepare the way by echoing the prophet Isaiah (Is 40:4), who said, “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth” (Lk 3:5).
The miracles which Jesus performed and the message he proclaimed about the coming of God’s kingdom in his person was a direct fulfillment of what the prophets had foretold many centuries before (see Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1). Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom and new life for all who were oppressed by afflictions, infirmities, sin and guilt, and demonic spirits (see Isaiah 61:1-2).
Jesus came in the power of God’s kingdom to release those bound up by sin, fear, and hopelessness. His miracles and exorcisms are direct signs of God’s power and presence and they confirm that the Father has sent his only begotten Son to be our Messiah (which means the Anointed One) and Savior.
It’s not a new message. It is a message that we need to take to our hearts.
We have to level the mountains of pride and egocentrism.
We have to fill in the valleys that come from a shallow prayer life or a minimalistic way of living our faith.
We have to straighten out crooked paths: if we’ve been involved in some dishonest practices or living a double life, we’re called to straighten them out and do restitution; if we’ve been harboring grudges or hatred, or failing to reconcile with others, now’s the time to clear away all the debris; and if we’ve been pushing God off the side of the road, if we’ve been saying to Him that we don’t really have the time for him because of the details of shopping or hobbies or even our various modern addictions in which we place television programs, or sports teams, videogames or social media above him, now’s the time to get our priorities straight.
Even though Herod had imprisoned him, John sent his clinging disciples to Jesus to find in him the one to whom John’s whole life — and even his incarceration and death — would point. Today John continues to point out Jesus to us and wants us, like his emissaries in today’s Gospel, to go to Jesus and enter into deeper conversation with him, to consider all of his works, to be blessed for our faith in him. He wants us to go thirsty to receive the outpouring of God’s living water from above.
Is this Advent the time that you will do that?
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and desires. Set my heart aflame with the fire of your love and with the power of the Holy Spirit that I may boldly witness the joy of the Gospel and serve your kingdom wherever you place me.”
Through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross and through the power of his resurrection we receive the first-fruits of God’s kingdom – the forgiveness of our sins, adoption as sons and daughters of God, new life in the Holy Spirit, and the promise that we will be raised to everlasting life with God in his kingdom. The Gospel is “good news” for all who receive it and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know and witness to others the joy and good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?