Third Sunday of Advent 2022


  A Disarmed Man  

Matthew 11:2-11

They have arrested the independent one. They have forced the desert into a cage. They have deprived the sky of its nights. They have stifled his cry of hope. In short, they have arrested John the Baptist. A restless lion, a caged lion, confused, humble, lost–John is no longer the person he was. Life has become cramped, suffocating. His freedom is restricted to the few square meters of his cell. And he inevitably changes.

The Baptist must now depend on others. He is a different person–compelled to be more humble, more human. In today’s Gospel, he is a reminder that a person is not a person if he/she is incapable of depending on others. He is a reminder that we must learn this as he did: from prison.

Now is the time for disarmed dependence. Often our expectations with regard to life are pretentious: we want life to adjust to our needs. The Baptist’s risk in the desert was to cry out forcefully so as to reach everyone. From prison, he can no longer do this.

He is a fragile, disarmed person. And he is beautiful. In his fragility, he learns to recognize and rejoice in a hope greater than himself (the blind regain their sight, the lame walk…). We are called to imitate him. We are called to recognize Hope, to discover with amazement that our hearts can become so free that we rejoice in the freedom of others.

Fr. Alessandro Deho'