Today’s Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28 – Third Sunday of Advent
“A man named John was sent from God.” This portion of today’s Gospel is interesting. Often we speak of being called by God; today the Gospel writer tells us that John was sent from God. Is there a difference between being called and sent?
Being called means that God has come to us, where we are, and commissioned us to do something for the Kingdom. Being sent means we were with God in some way and commissioned to go somewhere else. There’s a difference.
Scripture tells us that God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord. Paul speaks of being sent by God; Jesus sent the seventy-two out. At the Ascension, Jesus sent all His followers to every corner of the earth to announce the Good News. God sends. Jesus sends.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that John’s sending had nothing to do with him. He was sent to testify to the life, but he was not the light. He was sent by God, but not placed on a pedestal by God. Being sent by God isn’t something superior; it’s a privilege, but it’s not about us. It’s about God.
Centuries ago, ambassadors not only spoke for the person who sent them, but were treated just as the person who did the sending. God sent John to prepare the way for His Son, to be the voice crying in the wilderness, to baptize.
John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus just as we are today. How will we testify to the light during the week ahead? How will we be voices crying the truth, crying for peace?
How will you prepare the way for Jesus’ love to be witnessed and lived?
God Who sends, send me. Remind me that Jesus is already with Your people; help me to live so that they recognize Him.
Copyright 2017 Janet Schaeffler, OP
A leader of days of reflection/retreats, parish missions, workshops/presentations, facilitator of groups, author, and facilitator of online classes (University of Dayton and Boston College), Janet Schaeffler, OP, continues the ministry in which she was involved in parishes and as Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Archdiocese of Detroit.
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