I’m sure we’d all agree that a lot can change in a week’s time but our Gospel reading surely makes that point in a large way.  Last week, John the Baptist boldly sprang onto the scene crying out to all that the way of the Lord must be prepared and publicly calling the Pharisees and Sadducees (and perhaps all of us as well) a “brood of vipers” because he saw them as taking salvation for granted.  This week, we hear of John sending his disciples to Jesus to ask Him whether He truly was the One or if they should look for another.  One week he was so bold and so confident of His faith in Jesus, that he probably felt like he was unstoppable.  The next week he doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know.  But isn’t that the way life is?  Haven’t we all had the experience of feeling like we are on the top of the world one minute, and then down in the pit the next?  What does the song say-“flyin’ high in April; shot down in May?”  (Thank you, Frank Sinatra!).  John’s perspective is different this week because, for one thing, he now finds himself in prison.  He had taken King Herod to task and was now paying the price.  He was doing what he was supposed to do, but there is a cost to doing what we are supposed to do; that is the way life is-we need to learn that over and over again.  And it is our tendency as we pay the price, to question everyone and everything-God included-as John is doing today.  Actually, it is not so surprising that we question Jesus; what is surprising is how He responds to our questioning.  He affirms us; He affirmed John as being the greatest person ever born up to that point!  And He allows John (and us) to freely answer his (our) own question from his (our) prison cell.  “What do you hear and see?”  I think that sometimes the prison or pit that we find ourselves in after riding the wave is actually Jesus calling us to Himself so that we might gain a little perspective about ourselves, about the world and most especially about Him.  On this third Sunday of Advent, (Guadete Sunday) Jesus wants to pull us from where ever we are to be closer to Him, so that we might be truly able to celebrate Him.  That’s the way life is; that’s the way He is.


AuthorCathy Remick