Roc Homily – Second Sunday Advent (Cycle C) 2015

Second Sunday Advent 2015 +December 6, 2015


This week’s homily got away from me. Too much data. So, here’s a basic overview of where I had hoped to go. You be the judge.

Should you wish to follow along with the audio, here are a couple notes from preaching this past Sunday that show some of the internal and resonances between Greek terms used by the author of the Third Gospel – connections internal to the gospel, internal to the Acts of the Apostles (volume II of the gospel), and ‘external’ to the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament). Resonances are italicized… and an overview:

  1. The wilderness is the place of temptation, trial, failure, and grace. The Baptist proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
  2. The Greek word, aphesis, is translated forgiveness, liberty, and jubilee. John’s proclamation has to do with the Year of Mercy – jubilee, the forgiveness of debts.
  3. KEY: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness…” is used especially in Luke 18:38 about the blind man crying out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Seems to me that this characterizes John’s crying out in the wilderness – “O God, come save us from vain and hollow lives! Let us see! Show us the path of mercy!”

To proclaim; preach

Luke 3:3 (NRSV) — 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,

Luke 4:18f (NRSV) — 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Isaiah 61:1f (NRSV) — 1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;


The mystery here, as I see it has to do with us discovering and accepting how our sins can prompt our encounter with Christ (as in Exodus 34 – the incident of the golden calf). Our usual response has to do with shame and hiding – “Don’t  look at me!” In the line of the Exultet, “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam that gained for us such a savior!”

Not that we should sin more, rather enter into the that precious and wounded vulnerability that underlies our sins. There to find forgiveness, liberty, and jubilee!

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