Lectionary Reflections: Third Sunday of Advent [a] December 11, 2016

Engaging Faith | Mon, Dec 5, 2016

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Third Sunday of Advent [a]

December 11, 2016


Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11



December 10: International Human Rights Day

December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas

December 16-24: Las Posadas celebrated in Mexico (

December 18: International Migrants Day



The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope. 

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

… we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi

… if the Father calls us to be beloved children in his dearly beloved Son, he also calls us to recognize each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 97th World Day of Migrants and Refugees

It is absolutely necessary, therefore, to deal with the causes which trigger migrations in the countries of origin. This requires, as a first step, the commitment of the whole international community to eliminate the conflicts and violence that force people to flee.

— Pope Francis, Message for the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees

The present situation of the world, from the point of view of development, offers a rather negative impression. … Without going into an analysis of figures and statistics, it is sufficient to face squarely the reality of an innumerable multitude of people--children, adults and the elderly in other words, real and unique human persons, who are suffering under the intolerable burden of poverty. There are many millions who are deprived of hope due to the fact that, in many parts of the world, their situation has noticeably worsened. Before these tragedies of total indigence and need, in which so many of our brothers and sisters are living, it is the Lord Jesus himself who comes to question us.

— John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 13

While everything around me is every changing, ever dying, there is underlying that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates... For I can see in the midst of death, life persists, in the midst of untruth, truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

… the reign of God is making headway — and for this I am grateful. Do continue to be Spirit-filled and challenging.

— Sister Dorothy Kazel, O.S.U., martyred in El Salvador in 1980


Thoughts for Your Consideration

For many people the last few months have been a time of distress and upset.  Many have been upset about the results of the recent election in the United States and the very hurtful things that have been said – things that have caused fear and anger among women, refugees, immigrants, the poor, Muslims, minority groups, and many others.  It has been a challenging time for many.

Advent is a season to open our eyes and see, to notice those who struggle or suffer, to see the injustice around us, to be more aware of the challenges in our world.   

When John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus, they have been experiencing some discouragement. John is in jail. They may have been wondering:  Is there any hope?  Are God’s promises really to be fulfilled? Can we expect something new? Can the vision of John be made real?

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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