A Coincidence of Birthdays

To understand the celebration of John’s beheading takes a mature understanding of Christian vocation, life, and mission.

St. Luke the Stylist

Luke provides drama, humor, and poignant moments. Amid all his other achievements, he is one of the most elegant stylists in the pages of Scripture.

Ember Days for all

One of the best things about Advent is the presence of John the Baptist, that hair-shirt-wearing, locust-eating, wild-man prophet, the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

Whose authority, whose politics? John the Baptist’s Advent warning

Perhaps we could say that what the Baptist said does not matter as much as the fact that he said it, how he said it, to whom he said it, in whose name and by what authority he said it, and at what cost he said it. Perhaps what Jesus says about his own good works and about John’s confrontation with the authorities, even if it hardly amounts to a political philosophy, is what the Church needs to sure of before it can have a political philosophy. Perhaps if we have a problem with Matthew 11 it is that it just too clear and simple to be ignored.

Good news! Repent!

The Gospel reading for this week, in which John called all of us to repent is indeed good news. It is good news precisely because it demands that we face God’s grace and allow ourselves to be changed by it.

Advent anticipation

This Advent has been different. The early push to Christmas decorations in the mall and the early rush to Christmas music on the radio grated, if it is possible, a little bit more.