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Thursday, October 4, 2018

         ”When the men had come to him, they said, ’John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, Are you the Coming One (ὁ ἐρχόμενος), or do we look for (προσδοκῶμεν) another?’ And that very hour he healed many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind he gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” (Lk 7: 20-23)

     Jesus Christ, “the Coming One,” was “coming” into the lives of many, and “healing” their afflictions and infirmities. So the blind could “see,” the lame could “walk,” lepers were “cleansed,”...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

     “…And Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist) said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.’ And the angel answered him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.’ And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.’” (Mt 21: 28-32)

     How is it that the tax collectors and harlots “went to work” in the Lord’s “vineyard,” after believing Jo...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

     “At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus; and he said to his servants, ‘This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.’ For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; because John said to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.” (Mt 14: 1-5)

     St. John the Baptist falls on deaf ears, when he tells Herod that “it is not lawful” for Herod to have his brother’s wife. Because Herod had no “law” or concept of “lawfulness.” As far as we can see in this passage from Scripture, at this point in his life, Herod’s “modus oper...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

He (John the Baptist) said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath/anger to come (ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς)? Bear fruits that befit repentance…’” (Lk 3: 7-8a)

Today, on Meatfare Sunday, when we commemorate The Last Judgment, I’m thinking about St. John the Baptist’s approach to “the wrath/anger to come.” He’s asking, Who told you to “flee” from it? You can’t do that, because you can’t flee from your own selves, and from the “wrath” or “anger” you carry and multiply within yourselves, as a “brood of vipers.” What you can do is make a change, in “repentance” (a change of mind), and turn away from self-centered anger and fear, embracing God-centered love and faith instead. Similarly, our Lord in His parable of...

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