Third Sunday in Advent, Year B

Inspired by Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.” Isaiah 61:1-2 (NRSV)

Anyone who has watched medical dramas on TV are familiar with the scene: the doctor comes out of the operating room to talk to the family. They are edgy, worried, and don’t know if they want to hear what the doctor has to say. Depending on her report, they might scream at her in anger and blame her for the death of their loved one, or they might dissolve into tears of gratitude and hug her as though she herself were their loved one returned to them.

We all want to receive good news. Especially in these trying times, we want someone to tell us that it’s going to get better, that there is hope, that the greed and intolerance of the world isn’t the final word. What those of us with faith sometimes fail to realize is that we have heard that good news, but we aren’t sharing it with others who need to hear it. In this passage from Isaiah, we’re so busy identifying with the oppressed, the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoners, and those who mourn that we forget that we are also the messengers. We’ve received the good news, and it’s just too good to keep to ourselves, especially when there are so many others who desperately need to hear it. The year of the Lord’s favor is already upon us; how can we not spread the word?

Let us pray. God our Comforter, you have sent your Son into the world to be the good news to all. Help us to share that good news, that all may be comforted by your grace and love. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

One thought on “Third Sunday in Advent, Year B”

  1. I think I need to print this out and stick it on my fridge. It is spot on. I was identifying with the oppressed. In the current toxic climate it is hard not to but this reminds me i am not looking at the forest but the trees. Thank you!

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