December 17, 2017
John the Baptist takes center stage. He is a bit frightening! In the Gospel according to Saint John, the evangelist tells us John the B was sent by God to testify to the light. The Baptist knows who he is not and who he is. He is not the Christ, the One who is to come; he is not Elijah; he is not a prophet at least in his own estimation. John says (quoting Isaiah): “I am the voice of one crying in the desert; make straight the way of the Lord.” It is a voice like Isaiah speaking words of encouragement and comfort to the Jewish exiles returning home to ruins, to poverty and injustice. It is a voice like St. Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians to rejoice always, to pray unceasingly and in all circumstances to give thanks to God.
John the Baptist says to authorities from Jerusalem that there is one among you whom you do not recognize. We are getting ready to commemorate the birth of Jesus long ago but strangely we miss seeing him in our midst, the One who comes to us as a member of our family, a neighbor, a co-worker, a prisoner, a resident in a nursing home, a baby in the womb, a refugee, an immigrant, an addict. We also fail to recognize the Christ is in us – our true self. In these remaining days before Christmas, may “the light” be given to illumine the Christ in unexpected places and persons. May the Spirit inspire us as a community, even in face of suffering and injustice, to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks for the precious gift of the Peace of God in Jesus Christ.
Second Sunday of Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent