Advent Journal: Day 21

birth of john the baptist

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:1-2

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

Luke 1:57-66

It is amazing that we think of Christ being born in Bethlehem, as an anonymous child of no social birth or standing.  Yet, angels announced his coming, a star prepared the way for the shepherds and the Magi.  But John the Baptist, who would announce his coming, was the son of a priest of the Temple; he was already marked out as different for that reason, though not by a supernatural occurrence.  That was for the angel Gabriel to announce, as the birth of Christ.  But the point is, God announces his coming.  There are no “anonymous Christians,” and we will know when he comes to us.  He will make it clear.  We have his promise on that.  If it seems so doubtful to some that he exists that he no longer announces things in this way, it is because they expect Him to do so in the same way, for what was a unique event.  And no doubt, when He comes for the last judgment, it will also be that unique.  But even though he uses more “ordinary” means to speak to us until he comes again, it is no less clear: the witness of Scripture, Tradition, and the Authority of the Church.  Above all, he does not have to announce it; he is here.  He is here wherever a tabernacle in a Church is present, in the Holy Eucharist.  Advent is the time we remember that it was announced before hand that he would come, and that He did, and has never left us, and that when He comes again it shall be forever to dwell with those who have kept his Word, waiting expectantly for Him.

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~ by Alypius on December 24, 2017.

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