Joy in a Prison Cell?

This teaching for the third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy, focuses on a passage of Scripture where John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the One, "or should we expect someone else?" We assume that John is having an understandable moment of doubt as he languishes in a dreary prison cell. But several of the Church Fathers offer this alternate, intriguing possibility: John, as always, pointed to Jesus, even in prison, even near death: John sent his disciples to see and hear with their own eyes and ears what Jesus was doing and thus become His disciples. Jesus told John's followers to go back and report what they had seen and heard-- what John already knew was happening. Can there be joy even in a prison cell?

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