4th Sunday Advent – A Final Word to Situate us for Christmastide

How does this gospel situate us before God and others?  The gospel of Luke’s vocabulary opens to us the two paths that are open to us. That of discipleship and that of aggressively self-defensive and wounded people of God.

3rd Sunday Advent – On the Road to Bethlehem…

What stands out to me from the third Sunday of Advent today is how much I need the witness of John the Witness to the Light.  As I learn to receive his witness and let in the Light, perhaps I can witness myself to the Light more authentically. St. Augustine’s reflection uncovers this mystery of […]

3rd Sunday Advent – The Light Reveals…

Rorschach time again in the gospel of John:  When the Light appears, everyone reveals themselves as they are.  We, as readers and students of the gospel of John have the privilege of reading the text of their lives.  Can we learn to read the text of our own lives? John came to witness to the Light. […]

3rd Sunday Advent – The Light as Intruder

I had never noticed this, but how the heck did the Jewish officials know to send investigators to interrogate John?  Was there “a disturbance in the Force?”  Must have been.  The priests, Levites, & Pharisees demonstrate the fundamental resistance to the Light. The Light intruded, invaded, & pushed against the darkness.  The darkness pushed back […]

3rd Sunday Advent – “Who Are You?”

Who are you? Sunday’s gospel is all about identity.  John’s, Jesus’, yours, and mine. Brendan Byrne, SJ, the Australian scripture scholar pointed out how John (usually known as the Baptist) in John’s gospel is more of a witness than a baptizer.  In fact the trial motif  extends throughout the entire gospel, culminating in the interrogation […]

2nd Sunday Advent – Summary so far…

Advent’s first two gospel passages from Mark (c. 13, then c. 1) deal with the same reality in different ways.  On the first Sunday of Advent, Jesus proclaims (c. 13) “Be watchful!  Be ready!  Be alert! for you don not know when the Son of Man is coming.”  Like a thief in the night. John […]

2nd Sunday Advent – Why John the Baptist???

Baptized in the Jordan!  For Advent???  Repentance during Advent is a way for us to prepare to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord. That is why, I believe, we have the Baptist – Jack the Dipper (Thank you, Dennis Hamm, SJ!!!) – appearing to call all to repentance on this second Sunday of Advent! The […]

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe – What if?

This occurred to me this morning when preparing to preach & pray with the people… “What if…”  

2nd Sunday Advent – Merry Christmas? Happy Advent?

Since the run-up to Black Friday sales, we’ve been in the Christmas Sales Season.  Here, we say Merry Christmas to demonstrate our allegiance to the really lovely yet perverted myth of Santa Claus, his elves, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Christmas Lights!  Charlie Brown’s Christmas!  Miracle on whatever street. Bing Crosby dreaming of a White Christmas.  Jingle Bell […]

2nd Sunday Advent – Some Origins & Situating Repentance

Advent developed from two different traditions. In Rome through the 11th century, Christians commemorated the coming of the Lord in the flesh, his incarnation. For example, the 7th century “O Antiphons” celebrated the first coming of Christ (“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”). Later and just north of Rome, St. Francis of Assisi constructed the first […]


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