Part 1 of 2
Daily Office Readings for Sunday of the 3rd Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
AM Psalms 63 and 98; PM Psalm 103;
Isaiah 13:6 to13; Hebrews 12:18 to 29; John 3:22 to 30:
“Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” (John 3: 25 and 26)
Poor John the Baptist, and poor us. I feel we are left with a poor choice of words. Read this text carefully. It says “a” Jew argued with them. But “they” came to him.” There is confusion about how many. However, John himself was a Jew, as was Jesus. Why the Evangelist picked these words is baffling but at the same time, divisive. Also it implies that Jesus himself was baptizing. Other sources say he personally did not baptize. In any case, Jesus was starting a new following. This following is still alive today. We follow and walk by faith and not by sight.
Part 2 of 2
Eucharistic Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent 2020: Year B
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Canticle 15; 1st Thessalonians 5:16 to 24 John 1:6 to 8 and 19 to 28:
“This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.” (John 1: 20)
By, “the Jews,” is the language typically translated by the evangelist John, a Jew also. We readers of today must not forget that our Lord Jesus and his followers were all Jews. John the Baptist makes it clear that he is not the Messiah but informs them then that there is a man standing among them who is the Messiah.
This language sort of implies that being Jewish is a bad thing. I argue it is not. On the contrary, I believe being a spiritual child to Abraham is who God wants us to be.
We should place more concern on our spiritual ancestry than our biological history. We are spiritual beings first and foremost. We happen to occupy human bodies now but we are spiritual beings who will return to our spiritual selves at the resurrection. It is in this way that we will be like our Lord Jesus when he returns. And He is coming soon, and very soon.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John