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Third Sunday of Advent A
December 11, 2022
Anne Osdieck

First Reading
Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10

1. Isaiah said God would give signs to tell the Israelites of their delivery from slavery. What were these signs? What similar signs of God’s loving presence are there in your life? And what about in the fields of medicine, social justice and climate change?

2. Who does God use to transform the world now? Is there anything you could do, small or large, in the areas of racial or ecological justice, or of ending the war in Ukraine?

Second Reading

James 5:7-10

1. “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth.” How does this statement relate to Advent? How is patience involved in both situations?

2. What are some qualities that patience brings with it? What does impatience bring? St. James warns his community about complaining about one another. Is this a fault peculiar to James’ community? How does it relate to patience?


Matthew 11:2-11

1. John asked Jesus if he was “the one who is to come.” Jesus answered, “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised.” Explain this in both the literal and metaphorical senses. The people who came to John were seeking the deepest desires of their hearts. How was Jesus’ response an answer to those desires?

2. Does God always come into your life the way you expect? John the Baptist might have expected a mighty one and was confused by the gentle, healing Jesus. Was he called to conversion? Can Advent be a time of conversion for us to recognize new or different ways Jesus comes into our lives?

[Jesus’] description shows us that salvation envelops the whole person and regenerates him. But this new birth, with the joy that accompanies it, always presupposes a death to ourselves and to the sin within us. Hence the call to conversion, which is the basis of the preaching of both the Baptist and Jesus; in particular, it is a question of converting our idea of God.

And the time of Advent stimulates us to do this precisely with the question 2 that John the Baptist poses to Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Mt 11:3). We think that all his life John waited for the Messiah; his lifestyle, his very body is shaped by this expectation. This is also why Jesus praises him with those words: no one is greater than him among those born of a woman (cf. Mt 11:11). Yet he too had to convert to Jesus. Like John, we too are called to recognize the face that God chose to assume in Jesus Christ, humble and merciful.

Pope Francis, Angelus
Dec 15, 2019

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go