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Third Sunday of Advent

According to scripture, a prophet is someone who is used by God to communicate His message to the world. He was called the 'seer', (1Samuel 9:9) since He could also see visions and dreams from God or predict future events. But even the prophet was not exempt from afflictions. Likewise, we as Christians must not allow hardships to hinder us from following God.

How great a promise God holds for us this Advent, as in the Gospel today in Jesus' word to His disciples: Even the least person in the kingdom of God is greater than John! This transforms our vision. Matthew 11:2-5 says, "Now when John while in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent his disciples and said to Him "Are you the expected One or shall we look for someone else?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them."

These were Christ's seals and proof, so no one needed to seek for others. They were the very works the prophecy had mentioned, marks of the Messiah. Christ is known by His works. Many despised His preaching but His works showed Him to be the Savior sent by God. The poor had the gospel preached to them, Jesus cares a lot for the poor. A good characteristic of Jesus was that the poor understood Him and delighted to follow Him wherever He went.

Jesus could have rebuked John for his doubts but instead, the Lord blessed him, declaring John as the greatest prophet. He was special because he had the privilege of introducing the Messiah. John paved the way for the One who was to come. He was the voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord (Isaiah 40:3) and he also gave a message of repentance and baptism.

Celebrating Advent with joy is an excellent way to prepare our minds and hearts for Christmas. We have inexpressible joy even though there are trials because we know that God is with us. Let us thank the One that has come and is to come!

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