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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

December 17, 2017 — Third Sunday of Advent
John 1:6-8, 19-28
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

If today’s Gospel sounds familiar, it should. Last Sunday we heard Saint Mark describe the ministry of John the Baptist as the voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Today we move to the Gospel of John, and the words of Isaiah the prophet are heard again, spoken by John the Baptist: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”

John’s greatness is shown in his honesty and humility. He assures those who question him that he is not an Old Testament prophet raised from the dead, nor the One these prophets foretold: “I am not the Christ.” John baptizes with water, a baptism of repentance helping people to prepare for the one coming after him, Jesus Christ.

Today’s reading brings up another theme that’s important in the Gospel of John, the contrast between the darkness of this world and the light of God’s life. John came to testify to this light, the light of Christ. Thirty years later, Jesus would say, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

There is darkness in our world that is not caused by the setting of the sun. There is the darkness of sin. There is the darkness of fear, hopelessness, worry, and other shadows that dim our days. When any such darkness threatens, John the Baptist urges us to turn to Christ, our Light.

So does our Blessed Mother. On her Miraculous Medal, rays of brilliant light, the light of Christ’s grace, flow from her hands to dispel our darkness. Christ our Light is always near when we wear the medal and say: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” And if this prayer sounds familiar, that’s good!

Read last week's reflection.