During these final days of preparation for Christmas, the Church provides us with readings from the Sacred Scriptures which give us direct reference points to individuals that help us to understand the God-Man who is rapidly approaching us.
Elijah and John are both called by name to participate in the message of redemption. Elijah's call emphasizes that to respond to God's call means to change radically from our preconceived notions of self that we may have received from family, friends and associates. This change is indeed painful. We will be refined like gold or silver...in the fire! It is not just a nice thing to respond to God's call but we are impelled to answer or we will experience doom!
The Responsorial Psalm today is a prayer that we might know what we should do and how we might do our mission from God. We must be humble, just and in connection with the Lord's decrees and covenant.
In the Gospel, we see how Zachary cooperates with God's will and goes against family tradition and local custom and names his son, John. This dramatic manifestation indicates that John will have a significant and dramatic role in God's plan of redemption. He will prepare himself through the hardship of solitude and desert life to announce the arrival of the Messiah. This self-discovery of his mission will change him radically and will be a painful process leading to his own martyrdom.
All of this outlines and sets John as a precursor for what the God-Man, the Messiah, must experience as one like us who must discover his mission and painfully discover all that it means for him in his journey from Bethlehem to Calvary to Resurrection.
What is our mission as members of the Body of Christ in the redemption process? What does this discovery process call us to do or become?
Rev. Joseph Calderone, OSA
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent