Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

You are the Message and the Messenger

Archbishop Anthony is launching Parish 2020, an Evangelisation Plan, this weekend.  ‘Go and Make Disciples’ is the theme of the program.  Who is a disciple and whom should the disciples be following are questions to be considered.

Discernment in discipleship was a live issue to the Community of John’s Gospel. This Gospel was written very early in the 2nd century.  Disciples of John the Baptist were significantly present at that time.  John the Baptist’s identity assumed more importance because there was an expectation that Elijah would be part of the final unfolding, based on Malachi 4:5.  Likewise, there was an expectation that a prophet like Moses would be part of the end, based on Deuteronomy 18:15. Since many people considered John the Baptist to be special, the Christians needed some guidance on whom to follow.  John 1:6-8 provides the needed clarity on this matter.

John the Baptist himself stated that he was neither Elijah nor any other prominent prophet many were waiting for.  But he had the courage not to make any exaggerated claims.  He knew his worth and that is “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness”.  He announced the coming of the Messiah, the Saviour. John the Baptist highlighted the importance of the voice hope to those in the wilderness of despair.  John calls for the conversion of hearts so that the coming of God into their lives will fill them with the Holy Spirit.

Just as John bore witness to Jesus, there were other people who have borne witness to you.  It could be your parents, teachers, some relatives, friends, even strangers.  It is worth recollecting on those moments of faith revelations and Jesus experience.  You too may have borne witness to others of your moments of  Jesus experiences.  You may have been the voice of hope for someone in the wilderness of despair.  Can you recollect some of them?  You are to be the message and the messenger for Jesus to those who await the coming of God.