Word to Life: We have seen the fruit of his coming

More Word to Life columns.

(Dec. 14, Third Sunday of Advent)

Cycle B Readings:

1) Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11

Psalm, Luke 1:46-50, 53-54

2) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28

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"I am 'the voice of one crying out in the desert, Make straight the way of the Lord'" (John 1:23bc).

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

Jesuit Father Hubert Schiffer led quite a varied life as a priest. But his survival of the 1945 atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima is what brings him to mind in connection with today’s Advent readings.

Having removed most of the glass embedded in his skin by the explosion, he and other surviving members of his religious order went about gathering up orphans, caring for their needs and bringing them to the train station, so they could travel to safety away from the radioactive debris.

Jesus is coming.

Sister Mary Augustine Matzner, SSMN, had many stories of her service of others. One involved taking care of a number of infants in an isolated cabin in the Dakotas. A blizzard hit unexpectedly, and wood for the heating stove ran out. The only way she and her charges were able to survive the extreme cold was to huddle under blankets, the small children snuggled against her body to draw on her warmth. And survive they did.

Jesus is coming.

Another friend, Mary Schad, had a glow of holiness. Her simple, gentle nature was evident to anyone who met her. Mary would regularly join others to serve food to the homeless in the basement of a Dallas church. One day as she was dishing out cornbread, the line extended much further than the cornbread that remained in the serving tray. But as long as people came through the line, the meager amount of cornbread lasted.

Jesus is coming.

These are the acts of those who reflect the Isaiah Scripture: “He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted … to announce a year of favor from the Lord. …” They echo Mary’s proclamation when she says, “He has filled the hungry with good things,” and they reveal the One whom we await in Advent, the One of whom John the Baptist said, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”

We know this to be true because we have seen the fruit of his coming in those who serve him.

Jesus is coming.


As we walk through this season of waiting, can you identify people in your own life who have shown you evidence that Jesus has come? What did their revelation of God’s presence teach you?

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