And now, from prison, news is reaching him of a Jesus who is quite different to the one he had envisioned. Rather than chopping off and destroying, this Jesus is all about reconciliation, love, forgiveness, and giving sinners another chance. The question for John comes natural: is he really the one, or should we wait for someone else? Has John been mistaken all the way? Has he lead the people down the wrong path? So, he sends some of his followers straight to Jesus, to ask him directly whether or not he is the expected messiah.
Rather than answering yes or no, Jesus tells those messengers to refer to John what they have seen Jesus doing. Actions speak louder than words! The report must have been a very positive one: the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are healed, deaf people hear, and even the dead are raised, Indeed, Jesus’s is a life of good news to all who may be considered “poor”, in so many different ways. This is after all, what Isaiah had prophesized so many years before, as we read in the first reading. If we were to answer John, where he was wrong was not about whether Jesus was the messiah or not, but about what kind of messiah Jesus was going to be.
Maybe we too, like John the Baptist, are prone to judge and condemn all who do evil, all who are not as good as we make ourselves to be. We may find it hard to be like Jesus, who was quite comfortable to eat with sinners, to forgive those who hurt him, to give a second chance to those who were so obviously leading a sinful life. This is the good news that Jesus is all about. This 3rd Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as the “Gaudete” Sunday, the Sunday of joy. As we approach the celebration of Christmas, it is good to remember that Jesus’ message is not about punishment, fire and brimstone. It is about life, love, forgiveness and peace.
As we enter into this third week of Advent, let us start focusing on the good news that Jesus came to bring to the world. Let us never forget that, no matter what our past has been, he is always there wanting to love us, ready to embrace us in his merciful arms. It is only when we manage to fully accept this message that we, then, can love and forgive others in return.