Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Advent III



On the third Sunday of Advent the words of the prophet Isaiah are again fulfilled in a gospel account featuring John the Baptist.  The following may prove helpful in differentiating between John the Baptist and John the Evangelist:

John the Baptist was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.   Elizabeth was related to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  Thus, John and Jesus were related.  (BTW:  These details are only found in the gospel of Luke.)

John the Evangelist was the writer of the 4th gospel.   He and his brother James were the sons of Zebedee and Salome were two of Jesus’ 12 apostles.  This John is often referred to as Jesus’ beloved disciple and is to whom Jesus entrusts his mother at the crucifixion.

The Gospel of John is the last of the four gospel accounts to be written.  Scripture scholars suggest that Mark’s gospel was written around 70 A.D. and John’s somewhere between 90 and 100 A.D. 

The following quote from the U. S. Conference of Bishop’s website offers some insight as to why  the  Gospel of John is different from the other 3 synoptic gospels.  (syn = similar     optic = point of view)

The fourth gospel is not simply history; the narrative has been organized and adapted to
serve the evangelist’s theological purposes as well.

So, what is the Evangelist’s theological purpose?  (What is he trying to tell us about God?)  Today’s gospel makes it clear that Jesus is the Messiah (i.e. the Christ) and John is his herald. 

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The third Sunday of Advent reflects the joy of our closeness to the celebration of Christ’s birth.  We light the rose colored candle.  The entrance antiphon invites us “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.  Indeed, the Lord is near.”   

Today’s music reflects this joy-filled anticipation.  The prelude “Emmanuel” (#56) is a contemporary setting of the O Antiphons by Steve Angrisano that is quickly becoming part of the advent repertoire.  “Beyond the Moon and Stars”(#46)  speaks of the light of the Lord and connects us to the light of which John the Baptist came to testify.   “Find Us Ready” (printed in the Advent booklet) speaks of our doing the work of the kingdom and preparing for Christ’s second coming.  We conclude with Curtis Stephan’s “Ready the Way” (#49) which sends us into the final full week of preparation before Christmas.

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Thank you to those who have responded to the call to be part of our social concerns ministry.  Our e-mail list has grown to over 60 parishioners!

Anticipating great Christmas gifts in small advent packages! 

Bruce
 



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