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Path To Sunday

Third Sunday of Advent

By December 14, 2023No Comments

John 1:23

I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord

Full Gospel Passage: John 1:6-8, 19-28

In today’s gospel reading, the “Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites” to ask John the Baptist, “Who are you?” Didn’t they know he was John the Baptist?

They knew his name but wanted to know if he was one of the three persons whose arrival they were anticipating. In the first century AD, the Jewish people expected:

  • A Davidic messiah figure, the Christos, to fulfill God’s promise to King David that one of his descendants would always sit on the throne (2 Sam 7:11-13): (2 Sam 7:11-13): “Moreover, the LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you: when your days have been completed and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, sprung from your loins, and I will establish his kingdom. He it is who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever.”
  • That Elijah (who never died but was taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire – 2 Kings 2:11) would come back and prepare the way for the Messiah (Malakai 4:5): “See, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great day, greatly to be feared.”
  • There will be a prophet like Moses who will explain and clarify the law (Deuteronomy 18:15-18): “A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kindred; that is the one to whom you shall listen… I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kindred, and will put my words into the mouth of the prophet; the prophet shall tell them all that I command.”

While John was not the messiah/Christ, Elijah, or the prophet, Jesus identified him as a figure like Elijah (Matt 11:14), preparing the way of the Lord.

- Fr. Paul Stein


  • Amidst Advent’s anticipation, do you approach prayer with openness to the unexpected ways God acts? How can this expectancy deepen your connection with Him?
  • Reflecting on John’s preparation, how might your Advent prayer create space for Christ’s presence, shaping a welcoming heart for His arrival?
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