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December 15, 2013: Third Sunday of Advent

On the motherhouse grounds of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

During Advent, let’s remember that we only see a small portion of God’s plan and let’s have faith that God is working in our lives now and throughout the coming year.

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
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.” (Matthew 11:2-11)

Reflection:

Jesus’ ministry was so different than what the Jews expected of a Messiah (powerful, military leader), that even John the Baptist, who was stuck in a prison, doubted Jesus’ intention sometimes.
If Jesus was the promised one, why didn’t he declare himself the King, destroy the Romans and Herod, and release John from prison? Jesus was present and people found it hard to keep the faith.
It’s not unthinkable for us, then, to doubt God in times of trouble, especially when things aren’t turning out the way we think they should.

Action:

If we only focus on the present circumstances, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s bigger plan.
God sees the past, present and future, and knows what it is best.
It’s better to put our faith in the person of Jesus (God incarnate), rather than circumstances which are unpredictable. During this time of waiting for Emmanuel (God with us) during Advent, let’s remember that we only see a small portion of God’s plan and let’s have faith that God is working in our lives now and throughout the coming year.

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Diane Weidenbenner

Diane Weidenbenner is the annual fund manager and donor relations for the Sisters of Providence Mission Advancement office. She's also a Providence Associate.

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