As we read the Gospel for this Third Sunday of Advent, we need to notice the order that Jesus tells his followers to tell John. First, notice the ending. “Evangelized,” is the Greek word and it is in the present, passive, indicative third person plural. The passage does not say Jesus is doing the evangelizing. It does not say who is doing the evangelizing.
First, it is important to notice, the blind regain their sight. The Hebrew/Aramaic word for “blind” is עִוְרִים. עִוְרִים can both mean awakened and blind. The awakened meet/come into contact with something. They consider and reason about something. The blind meet, come into contact with something they did not see before. The lame walk. The Hebrew word for lame is “Pesach.” Word’s grammar checker does not question this word, and for a reason. Pesach is Passover, from which we derive our Eucharist. The Last Supper was at Pesach. Those who truly experience Pesach, the Eucharist are no longer lame. They no longer have lame excuses for not acting. They now see, something, and they act on it. If you do not see, and if you do not act on what you see, it is proof that you have not truly experienced Passover/the Eucharist.
The Hebrew word used for “lepers/מְצרָעִים,” is the same as the Hebrew word for “Egypt.” Egypt is the oppressive place. “Moses called to all Israel, and told them, Hear, Israel, the customs and the precedents, I speak in your ears, this day, to learn them, and guard to do them. The NAME our God cut a covenant with us in Horeb. The NAME did not cut this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, all of us, alive, here, this day. The NAME spoke with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.” Notice the candles to the right and to the left of the lectern at Mass, fires. I am the NAME your God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt/מִצְרַיִם, out of the house of bondage.”
The Hebrew/Aramaic in our Gospel then tells us of how the closed up hear and the dead rise up. When we truly experience the Eucharist/Passover, we are closed up no longer. We are now open to the world.
David, (The Jewish community has an amulet for weddings, Ani le Dodi V Dodi Li/I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me. I am to my David/beloved and he is to me.) Let us love one another as love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way, the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him… we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior/Joshua/Jesus/Salvation of the world. Whoever allows that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and him in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us… God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the Day of Judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect/Shalom love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. I John 7-18
Jewish marriage comes in two stages, kiddushin, and Nassau. Kiddish is the Hebrew word for Holy, dedicated, sacred, or consecrated. In the first stage of marriage, the couple is married in every way except the bride has not moved in with the groom. The groom supports the bride, and the bride does the cooking, cleaning, and everything a wife normally does. In Matthew 1, when Matthew says the Mary is betrothed to Joseph, this is what Matthew has in mind. If the groom has the funds, he goes and prepares a new home for himself and his bride.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many salaries. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare an affectionate joining place for you? If go and prepare an affectionate joining place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” John 14:2-3
John’s Gospel has a couple of different possible meanings. The word usually translated as “Mansion,” can also translate as “Rebellions,” “Perverted “Places,” or “Crooked Places.” “In my Father’s House, there are many perversions. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare an affectionate joining place for you?” Perversion in the house of God is nothing new. As to the second part of the passage, there is a clear reference to Nassau marriage. Nassau marriage means upraised marriage. This is when the bride moves in with the groom, at the Second Coming. The metaphor continues.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip told him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus told him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who indwells/Shekinahs (The Hebrew word for the Holy Spirit is Shekinah and refers to the tent of meeting Joshua lived in, in the desert) in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be made important in the Son.
Until the Second Coming, the reference is clear. We are the Bride of Christ. We are in Kiddishin marriage. Remember, that is a marriage where the wife/Bride of Christ, does all the housework. Being a total family, the Hebrew word for a place when he refers to an affectionate joining place can also refer to customs and nations, God calls for us to recognize how there are different customs in his big dwelling place. When Joshua Ben Nun/Joshua Son of the Fish went to the tent of meeting, there were twelve tribes, twelve different ways of viewing the world. Still, God prepares a room for all of them and all of us, with differing cultures, in his big tent of meeting.
Jesus then says, “אִם־אֲהַבְתֶּם אֹתִי אֶת־מְִֹצתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ. If you love me, guard my Mitzvah.” We, therefore, keep coming back to the same concept. If God heals us, he moves us from blindness, not seeing the humanity in each other, to walking, as in walking to those who need help. This comes through Passover, the Eucharist. It comes through seeing the oppression of others and doing something. If you voted for a candidate who was married several times, and who had a reputation for harassing others, in particular women, entering their changing rooms, bragging about sexual conquests, and how that candidate bragging he could kill someone in Central Park and get away with it, the Eucharist has not moved you. You badly need confession.
God calls us to be pro-life. He calls us to bring the dead in each person we see, to life. He calls us to help all people live life and live it to its fullest. When Jesus speaks of the poor being evangelized to, he is not speaking about himself, but to his followers, us. He calls us to bring all people into Kiddushin marriage, to bring all people to the tent of meeting, to become part of his great extended family. He calls us to guard and care for his planet. That means doing something about Global Warming. Are we doing our chores? The groom is coming, and if not…