Gospel For Advent 3 (Series A) Are You The One?
A surface reading of this gospel (Mt. 11:2-15) might confuse a person.
Did the Great John suddenly get confused or lose faith? There is a line of reasoning that says yes; and then finds comfort in it to this wise: if the great John could lose faith momentarily, then we should not feel so bad if we do.
But if we go beyond the surface we find that a very different story obtains.
But first we must understand what Scripture is. That it is not simply "reportage" or historical or religious information given so that we all might know what happened back in the day.
But when we understand that Scripture is liturgy, lectionary, prayer, catechism and more etc. written for the church to be used by the church, then we get a different take.
We can be sure that the man who fried the Pharisees and Sadducees; and roasted the
masses; and drove a wooden stake into the heart of the king and his girlfriend; the man who introduced the Christ, and saw the Spirit descend upon him like a dove and remain upon him, and who lived a self imposed ascetic life of deprivation .... that man doesn't suddenly lose faith, turn tail and run.
Instead, we would do well to see this drama as a catechism of the Christ. A litany and liturgy of salvation not for John's sake, but for that of his disciples and finally! for the church. That this Christ who is the world's redeemer is already here and now bringing about the signs of the Kingdom. What he does in a limited way will one day become universally true when he comes again to judge / restore all things.
Blessed Advent to all!