What happened to all the “global warming” we were supposed to get over night? I am disappointed. It seems to have all gone to the east coast. Why does everything always happen on the coasts, and the midwest has none of the fun?
O Antiphon of day:
O root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for His people: Come to save us without delay!
5 days till the BIRTH of CHRIST,
and this is the 21st day of the ADVENT season.
“HO, HO, HO-ly God, We Praise Thy Name!”
Quote or Joke of the Day:
When praying, don’t give God instructions – just report for duty.
The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel. (NAB Lk 1:80)
John had a strong body and spirit. Living in the desert, eating insects, and wearing weird and rudimentary clothes made him look different ways to the people that saw him. I am sure some saw him as a “nut” or crazy person. Some were afraid of him, and considered him deranged and threatening. Some probably even thought was on the ‘street drugs’ of that time period (yes, there were drug addicts, even then).
But many saw him for the prophet he was. John the Baptist drew large crowds wherever he went. He preached and baptized people as a symbol of cleansing the persons soul for entering the temple of the, soon to come, Messiah. This was not a perverted idea as Jewish tradition, and law, was to wash (to cleanse) themselves just prior to entering the temple where the ‘Holy of Holies’ was kept.
John, as Jesus will also be in the near future, was a threat to the “traditional” Jewish church. He was prophesying the coming of the Messiah, without input from the Sanhedrin or Pharisees. He was also becoming a civil ‘hero’ as well, which made him a concern to the civil authorities. It seems no one likes change, even 2000 years ago. He was watched by both Roman and Temple officials for any signs of major upheaval. Eventually, John was arrested and imprisoned, and he was executed on the orders of a drunk king caught in a moment of sexual desire.
John worked for God and with God, in his ministry. He treated everything as a gift from God, and as a present TO God. His concern was not for earthly desires or notability, but only to serve and love God, and prepare for the Messiah’s coming. This reminds me of a prayer I say every morning, that seems to sum up what John the Baptist lived in his life, and death:
“Lord, help me to do great things as though they were little, since I do them with Your power; and little things as though they were great, since I do them in Your name. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #19:
Mindful that they are bearers of peace which must be built up unceasingly, they should seek out ways of unity and fraternal harmony through dialogue, trusting in the presence of the divine seed in everyone and in the transforming power of love and pardon. Messengers of perfect joy in every circumstance, they should strive to bring joy and hope to others. Since they are immersed in the resurrection of Christ, which gives true meaning to Sister Death, let them serenely tend toward the ultimate encounter with the Father.