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3rd Sunday of Advent (Ages 6-9): Rejoice!

(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel to your child.)


Matthew 11.2-11


This Sunday is called Gaudete Sunday. We light the third candle of the Advent wreath, the pink one. Gaudete means rejoice and pink is the colour for rejoicing. We wonder, though, why do we rejoice?


Last Sunday, we heard about John the Baptist—the Preparation Person—preparing the people of Israel for Jesus who comes. John the Baptist always points to Jesus. He says the Kingdom of God has come near. He tells people to repent, to make straight the path of the Lord. But not everyone wants to prepare. Not everyone likes being told to repent. The leaders of Israel throw John the Baptist in prison.

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Even in prison, John the Baptist points people to Jesus.


A strange question he asks, though. Are you the one who is to come? John knows that Jesus is already here. But when he asks the question, Jesus is not yet Risen to new life, abundant life, never to die again.

Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see

Use your senses, Jesus says. What do you hear? What do you see? What are the signs?

the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have good news brought to them.

These things happen all around Jesus. The signs that Jesus points them to are miracles. Miracles are signs of the Kingdom of God. What do they tell us about the Kingdom of God? What will it be like? What does God want?


The prophets know. The prophets—those people who listen so closely to God—speak about the fullness of the Kingdom. We call this fullness the Parousia—the Kingdom of God complete. In the first reading this Sunday, we hear the prophet Isaiah speaking about the time of the Parousia:


Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then the lame shall leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.


This is the fullness of the Kingdom of God. So much life! So much joy! These are the things that God wants. And they happen all around Jesus. John the Baptist is the Preparation person, but Jesus is the Parousia Person.


How wonderful for the people all around Jesus! They walk with him. They walk in the Kingdom of God!


But what about us?


We are in a time of waiting. Jesus is already Risen, but the Kingdom is not yet complete. We need the One who is to come.


Where is he?


Use your senses, Jesus says. What do you hear? What do you see? What are the signs?


Do we see the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead raised? No. We cannot see any of this abundant life of God.


Or can we?


Can we taste that abundant life as we wait?

The Eucharist is a sign—a miracle helping us to see and taste the Kingdom of God today.

But Jesus also says, tell what you hear.

Can we hear the fullness of the Kingdom?


He says,

the poor have good news brought to them.

The Good News is another name for the Gospel. We hear the Gospel every Sunday. We hear the Good News every time we listen to the Bible.


John the Baptist says, the Kingdom of God has come near.

Isaiah says, the speechless sing for joy.

Every time we listen to the Word of God, Jesus is with us.

Photo via Ben While on Unsplash

Tell what you hear, Jesus says.


Rejoice!





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