December 17, 2017
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Our Reconciliation Service is this Sunday at 6:30 pm.
The Baptist was not the Light. The Evangelist makes this clear, and tells us that John came to testify to the Light. John, himself, admits to the priests and Levites that he is not the long-awaited Christ. He then testifies that he is not Elijah, even though we know that he came in the spirit and the power of Elijah as the angel tells Zachariah in the temple in Luke:1. No; John is the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth. Elijah, on the other hand, was taken up in a chariot to God at the end of his life, and it is prophesied that he will be one of two witnesses who will come in person before Christ’s second coming in glory. Revelation 11 mentions these witnesses. Fire will come down from heaven signifying the one as Elijah and Moses as the second witness, when water will be turned to blood.
Finally, John denies that he is the Prophet, the one prophesied by Moses in Deuteronomy 18. No doubt, John was a great prophet, but he is not the one who will come like Moses, as the new Moses, the new Lawgiver. We know that Jesus, is in fact the new Moses, the new Lawgiver as He, like Moses, gives us the new law in the Sermon on the Mount. So, who is John, and why is he so important?
John the Baptist prepares the way for the coming of God, and this is what we are doing! John comes to us in Advent to show us the Light, that we might believe in the One who comes at Christmas and that we might long for the One who will come in glory. On this Gaudete Sunday, we rejoice in the midst of this penitential season, for Christ has come and will come again! Remarkably, our Responsorial Psalm this weekend is not taken from the Book of Psalms. Rather, on this weekend of rejoicing, we echo the joyful proclamation of Mary, “My soul rejoices in my God!” God is here!
Next weekend marks not only the Fourth Sunday of Advent but Christmas Eve. Please see the Mass schedule in this bulletin. In advance, I want to thank all our liturgical ministers who will be working overtime; thank you. We will have many guests and people returning to join us for our Christmas liturgies. Please be extravagant in your hospitality to them! They belong here, and we want them to make their weekly home with us. Please invite loved ones and friends to join us, and to those going away, Merry Christmas!
Catechism Question of the Week: True or False? Angels are purely spiritual creatures who have intelligence, exist to serve God, and surpass in perfection all visible creatures, but have no free will of their own. (see CCC 330)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: As I approach Christmas, have I received the gift of salvation? What gift do I lack in my spiritual journey to Him? Have I asked?
In Christ’s Peace,