Announce the Good News to the Poor

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Formation

Jesus is God’s Anointed and Sent One to announce the Good News to the poor.  To belong to God and to Jesus is to belong to the poor.

John the Baptist seems to go into crisis, and his whole group with him.  For what he hears in prison about Jesus does not sound promising or uplifting.  Like him, Jesus does not fail to announce that people have to repent.

Yet Jesus, rather than announce the coming judgment and punishment, underscores mercy.  And due to this, he does not seem to be the mighty liberator that the Messiah is expected to be.  No one, not even the forerunner of the one to come, can imagine a Messiah who does not appear awesome.  Who does not judge, condemn, and punish harshly.

And in reply to John, Jesus makes clear that his works as Messiah are not about showing might and strength.  Or power and authority that shock and awe.  Rather, they are gentle works to save, to heal, and to free.

In other words, for him to be God’s Anointed and Sent One is to announce the Good News to the poor. Hence, he goes about towns and villages, teaching, curing diseases and illnesses (Mt 4, 23; 9, 35; Acts 10, 38).  He also calls disciples so that they may announce the Good News, too (10, 1-15; Lk 10, 1-9).

And the words and deeds of the one who does not condemn but saves surprise not a few.  Yes, they even make others stumble and take offense at him.  For he does not focus on judgment.  He does not show us the face of God as a harsh and angry Judge (see No Somos Bautistas).  He shows, rather, the face of God as a loving and merciful Father.

To share Jesus’ anointing and sending means to announce the Good News to the poor.

Needless to say, we Christians share in Jesus’ anointing and sending.  Hence, we too are to announce the Good News to those who are poor.  And we are to do so in “every way, by words and by works” (SV.EN XII:77-82).  We are to ease their suffering and take care of their spiritual and temporal needs.

And we should do what God shows us that he wants us to do for those in need.  After all, as Jesus, we belong to God and not to ourselves.  True to him and patient, we too, in his good time and moment of grace, shall see the desert exult.  We too shall see his splendor on the faces of those who are poor.  And theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Besides, the least of them is greater the greatest among those born of women.

Lord Jesus, you are the first to announce the Good News to the poor.  Make us share truly your anointing and sending, and follow you in serving those who are poor to the end.  To the giving up of our bodies and the shedding of our blood.

11 December 2022
Third Sunday of Advent (A)
Is 35, 1-6a. 10; Jas 5, 7-10; Mt 11, 2-11


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