Read­ing Time: 3 minutes



John, in his own style and lan­guage, presents fur­ther guid­ance on how to pre­pare for the cel­eb­ra­tion of the com­mem­or­a­tion of the birth of Jesus the Christ—the Anoin­ted One of God, hence, the saviour. The Phar­isees needed to know with pre­ci­sion the iden­tity of John the Bap­tizer so as to ascer­tain if he is the Mes­si­ah they were await­ing. The Jews who sent people to inter­rog­ate John the Baptist are the Jew­ish author­it­ies mostly con­cerned with ritu­al puri­fic­a­tions. The Phar­isees became more con­fused when John the Bap­tizer declared he was neither Christ, Eli­jah, nor the Proph­et. In fact, the Jews expec­ted more people to be asso­ci­ated with the advent of the Mes­si­ah. This Sunday Gos­pel is the Johan­nine ver­sion of Mark 1:1–8, the Gos­pel for the Second Sunday of Advent (B). It is a fur­ther present­a­tion of John as the fore­run­ner of Jesus.

The mission of the Light

The First Read­ing from Isai­ah out­lines the func­tions of the mes­si­ah. In Luke 4:16b-20, we read that as Jesus entered the syn­agogue, as his cus­tom was, on the Sab­bath, “he stood up to read, and he was giv­en the book or scroll of the proph­et Isai­ah, and unrolling the book, he found the place where it was writ­ten. The Spir­it of the Lord is upon me, for this he has anoin­ted me: to bring the Good News to the poor he has sent me; to pro­claim lib­er­a­tion or free­dom to the pris­on­ers; to the blind the recov­ery of sight; to send the oppressed away or free; to pro­claim the year accept­able to the Lord. He rolled up the book. And he gave it back to the attend­ant, sit­ting down. And the eyes of every­one in the syn­agogue were fixed on him.” It is in this Isai­an pas­sage that Jesus presents him­self at the begin­ning of his mis­sion. The essence of Jesus’ mes­si­an­ic work is expressed in the phrase ‘to set free’ (Greek: aph­es­is). This means Jesus will do what the nations have failed to do. It makes the pro­clam­a­tion mes­si­an­ic, not merely proph­et­ic, because Jesus does not just pro­claim the mes­sage; he brings deliv­er­ance, and he is the mes­sage of the Fath­er. This is why the com­mem­or­a­tion of the birth of Jesus arouses immense joy in and among Chris­ti­ans. What the nations could not do, Jesus will achieve. The peace and justice that civil and reli­gious lead­ers have failed to achieve will be accom­plished by Jesus. As recor­ded in Isai­ah 11:1–11, Jesus, the shoot that springs from the stock of Jesse, on him will rest the spir­it of the Lord, the spir­it of wis­dom and insight; the spir­it of coun­sel and power; and the spir­it of know­ledge and of the fear of the Lord. His judg­ment will not be based on appear­ance, and his ver­dict will not be foun­ded on hearsay. Integ­rity is the loin­cloth around his waist, and faith­ful­ness is the belt around his hips. He will stand as a sig­nal for the people, and his reign will not have an end. In his day, justice shall flour­ish and peace till the moon fails (cf. Ps 71). Is our pre­par­a­tion dir­ec­ted towards these ends?


Conclusion – Witnessing to the Light

Like John the Baptist, we should all be wit­nesses to the light, which is God him­self. The verb to bear wit­ness (Greek: mar­tureō) means to see or know by per­son­al pres­ence; to have dir­ect cog­niz­ance of some­thing or someone. There­fore, we are wit­nesses to the God who is Light because we have all seen, known, and exper­i­enced this Light in vari­ous ways. Dur­ing this year, God mani­fes­ted his light to us in vari­ous forms and in vari­ous cir­cum­stances. We all exper­i­enced this Light in our fam­il­ies, places of work, as indi­vidu­als, and as a com­munity. We have many reasons…

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year B is found on vol. II pages 18–24. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.


Email This Post Email This Post

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!