This Sunday, we again meet John the Baptist. Someone is trying to say something! John the Baptist is an important figure on our path, apparently a friend.
Who is John? "He was not the light, but came to testify to the light." John the Baptist is all about testimony-which means other-centered. When asked by the priests and Levites from Jerusalem, "Who are you?" John only says who he is not-not the Messiah, not Elijah, not the prophet. "I am the voice of one crying out in the desert." Very mysterious. See how many "likes" that will garner on Facebook! John is all about Jesus; hence his great freedom of heart, and his mysterious attractiveness.
In John the Baptist, we see the inner attitude to have if we are to discover how awesome Jesus is, and to have Jesus shine through us: a sense of our unworthiness. Such a sense is not self-belittlement or self-disparagement. It is the sense that awakens in us when we realize how much we are loved. We speak such a sense at every Mass, just before encountering Christ in the Eucharist, just before being loved so much: "Lord I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof, but speak the word only and my soul shall be healed." When it comes to Jesus, strictly speaking, we do not have any rights. We have gifts. We are gratuitously and unconditionally loved, and consequently are deeply humbled and grateful-indeed, we tumble into an abyss of awe.
Such is the attitude that rightly prepares Christmas: prepares us to approach the mystery of the Incarnation, God become human, and prepares us for Jesus' Second Coming. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us such faith insight, so that we might be filled with awe.
With you in hopeful longing,
Brother in Christ
From the desk of the Rector