Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.


Sunday 15th December 2019
Third Sunday of Advent, Year A
Isaiah 35: 1-6, 10     James 5: 7-10     Matthew 11: 2-11

From Crib to Cross.

It was with three wise men that Mary gazed upon the child in the crib. And it was with three wise women that she looked upon the Christ on the cross.

The coming of Jesus had been awaited with great expectation. In times of trouble the people had kept alive their hope that God would send a champion, a Messiah. Isaiah had encouraged them with his prophecy: “Look, your God is coming… he is coming to save you”.

And so today we too await the coming of our champion. As Advent moves towards Christmas we pray and sing of our yearning for God to be close to us. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Many people are afraid of God. They really don’t want to meet him. They see God as an impartial judge who uses law rather than mercy as his yardstick. Along with the psalmist they know that if God were to give us marks out of ten, then none of us could hope to survive.

But the God who is coming, the God we call upon in Advent, comes not to condemn but to save. Our prayers at Mass speak about waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

And wait we must. Advent is about patience, about trust, about not giving up hope. If we believe in the promises which Jesus made, then we yearn for his coming. We know that to be close to him is to have peace, to live happily, to be held in his hand come what may.

So Christians are not afraid to meet their God. Not today; not in the future. For God has made us to belong to him and to enjoy the life we were created for. When God comes it will be as a Saviour. Today’s psalm becomes our Advent motto: Come, Lord, and save us!




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2019