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Archive for December 11th, 2016


Matthew 11: A Message of Healing

Third Sunday of Advent, December 11, 2016

Guercino: Saint John the Baptist in Prison Visited by Salome

Guercino: Saint John the Baptist in Prison Visited by Salomé

John the Baptist was imprisoned and when he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?” (MSG) This week we are given an opportunity to give our own testimony.

When we read these ancient verses we tend to leave them in the past where they were first spoken and written, forgetting that Christ still lives among us to heal and bless. Just as Jesus spoke to John’s disciples, he speaks to each of us today.

Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:

The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.

“Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!” (MSG)

Like John’s disciples, we may stand in disbelief, wanting evidence, weighing the promise against the reality of the moment. So Jesus continues.

“Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean,[a] the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. How happy are those who have no doubts about me!” (GNT)

Like John’s disciples, we watch Jesus’ face, suspecting that his words are only words, hoping that his words bring the healing and grace we so need individually and collectively. So Jesus asks us a question.

Tell me, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes indeed, but you saw much more than a prophet. (GNT)

Today we have the opportunity to consider what we have witnessed. We have the opportunity to consider what we believe. And we have the opportunity to act on this belief.

The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side. Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed! (MSG)

On this third Sunday in Advent when we celebrate the joy of God’s message, let us decide to believe in the healing message of Christ.

When we explore differing translations of these verses, we discover a message of restoration and compassion that we have been longing to hear. When we take in the meaning of these verses, we open ourselves to the healing and redemption Jesus promises.

For interesting information on the sale of this painting through Sotheby’s, read THE ECONOMIST article, “Schemers and Squinters,” by clicking on the image or visiting: http://www.economist.com/node/12917657

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