Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fr. James's Sunday Homily: Second Sunday of Advent

The Witness

Why is an obscure figure of the Bible relevant for us today? Why does the Catholic Church, on the Second Sunday of Advent, present John the Baptist for our reflection?

St. John the Baptist commands our interest because he is a witness. By his witness, he reminds us that we are called to be witnesses. And in any age, to be a witness is challenging.

The witness of John the Baptist begins with his birth. The miraculous circumstances of his conception and birth direct our attention to the mysterious and transcendent. An angel announces his birth to a woman well beyond childbearing years. His father is struck dumb for his disbelief. As an infant, John, leaps in his mother's womb when he is in the presence of the Messiah's mother. Upon his birth, he is given not his father's name, but rather the name, John, which translates "Yahweh is gracious". With the giving of this name spoken by the angel, John's father, Zechariah, recovers his power of speech. Thus the miraculous circumstances surrounding his beginnings give witness to a sacred world, a world reaching beyond time and space.

As an adult, his chosen surroundings bear witness to a different reality. John is a man of the desert. He totally separates himself from the world in order to give testimony of another world. Within his solitude he is able to hear the voice of God. Between the center of Judea and the Dead Sea exists one of the most austere deserts of the world. John the Baptist made this place his home. His home is a testimony of what our souls must be in order to listen to God and to possess him. Our journey during this Advent should bring about a deeper detachment from earthly creatures so that we may come closer to God... (Continued here.)



Anonymous said...

Dear Donna-Wonderful post! I met you at Borders in Fairfield, Connecticut and bought your book on prayers for mothers. I read it all the time. Will you be coming to Borders again-you told me you were writing a book about the saints and I was very excited about it. You gave me the miraculous medal that was blessed by Mother Theresa. I wll continue to read your posts. They are such an inspiration to me. Blessings, Rose

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Hi Rose!

It's so nice of you to visit! I am so glad that you are enjoying my book and that it is inspiring to you. My Saints book will be out very soon. It will be out on or about arch 14, 2008. It is already listed on Amazon.Com and I have it also on my website for pre-order. It is called, "Catholic Saints Prayer Book" and will be released by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company. I will be posting the book cover image on my blogs within a few days, hopefully. I'm sure that I will be back at the Fairfield Borders for book signings. I have a scheduled date there in the spring which you can find out about by going to my website and checking the "appearance" section.

God bless you!