Dec. 15, 2019 -3rd Sunday of Advent

(Is 35:1-6a, 10; Jas 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11)

Today's reading from Isaiah foretells the coming of the Lord in the language of physical manifestations – blooming flowers, healing of deafness and blindness, etc. These references should be taken as allegories for spiritual manifestations which are the real fruits of the coming of the Lord – spiritual sight and the blossoming of salvation. The healings are symbolic of the promise of resurrection that follows the coming incarnation. These are truly reasons to rejoice. But the coming of the Lord foretold by Isaiah did not happen for 700 years, so patience is required on our part. James writes about patience in the second reading. He compares this patience to the patience of a farmer who awaits the coming of the precious fruits of the earth. We are called to order our lives so that we can look forward to the coming of Christ for us with joyful anticipation, and still with patience and trust in God's timing and will. As St. Joseph Pignatelli, the “Second Founder” of the Jesuits would write 1700 years later, “My God, I do not know what must come to me today. But I am certain that nothing can happen to me that you have not ordained from all eternity. That is sufficient for me.”