Monday, December 13, 2004

gaudete sunday

it's the 3rd sunday of advent. traditionally, it's called the gaudete sunday to capture liturgically the joy of expecting the birth of the messiah.

but the gospel (Mt. 11:2-11) reading for this sunday says it meaningfully. when the disciples of john went to jesus to ask if he was the one they were waiting for, jesus anwered what they had in mind--the davidic preconception of a messiah. somebody very powerful. so powerful to erase all the tears from our eyes. to put an end to suffering and pain. to rebuild an existing imperfect cosmology into something perfect like every jewish expected from the time of king david.

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

contrary to all expectations, the messiah is going to define his kingship with the paschal mystery. somebody who is going to conquer death not by power but by weakness, not by the sword but by the cross. not by conquering slavery but by becoming a slave himself so that in a situation of profound lowliness he will be lifted up and eventually emerge victorious.

this is the expectation of christmas--to give birth to the Son. to make the son existentially present in ones life. to be a lamb like he was. to be weak in order to shame the strong and the wise.

who do you expect for christmas?

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