Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
On this Third Sunday of Advent we again are focused on John the Baptist. Today we hear more about John’s ministry and his response to questions raised by his message. An important issue for many in the days of the early Church was the relationship between Jesus and John. In response to those who believed that John the Baptist was the Messiah, the early Christians remembered John’s own words: “I am not the Messiah…I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”
The first reading is Isaiah’s poem of the anointed one and his ministry of peace, healing, and redemption. In his first sermon Jesus applied this passage to himself. In this Advent time we anticipate our celebration of the birth of the anointed one who comes to save.
The second reading is the conclusion of Paul’s first letter to the Church in Thessalonica. He wrote this letter to encourage them to persevere in the Way as they waited for the return of Jesus. Paul assures them that the Lord will return but that their lives now are to reflect the nature of God’s kingdom rather than to be spent in sitting back and awaiting the End.
The Church’s Eucharist is a foretaste of that coming of Christ which is still ahead. In word and sacrament, song and story, we encounter the reign of God in our midst and we reveal that future joy to the world. Like John the Baptist we are sent ahead of the One who is coming and our joy is to see God’s presence in the world increase.
Blessings at Adventide.