Third Sunday of Advent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD December 16, 2018 Third Sunday of Advent Gaudete  WORD of the DAY   And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise”.    (Luke  3: 10-11)   How shall I live this Word? We are on the threshold of Christmas.  Tomorrow begins the Christmas Novena.  The Liturgy leads us to a scene with John the Baptist, the one who awaits.  He does not think of himself but looks beyond.  John is ‘eccentric’, totally looking toward the tomorrow of God.  He can only find peace in the promised Lord.  He has spent years in the desert and now he goes throughout the region of the Jordan preaching the Good News and the baptism of conversion, which is not merely a simple rite, but requires a life change.  At his point, the crowds ask him, “What must we do?”  What this last of the prophets proposes is not human ‘distributive justice’, but evangelical fraternity.  What you have is not yours but to share with those who have nothing.  In my...

Tuesday before Epiphany

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Tuesday, January 2, 2018 St. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen WORD of the DAY   So, they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?”  He said: “I am ‘the voice of one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said”.  (John 1: 22-23) How shall I live this Word? Those who were questioning John were of the Pharisee sect and were curious to know who the man baptizing in the Jordan was.  Their investigation does not seem to have had an immediate response.  John does not pretend to be Elijah or any other prophet.  He is simply a voice, a finger pointed to the Lamb.  A cry in the desert of indifference.  A human signpost that invites them to prepare the way of the Lord.  His whole person tends toward one greater than he, whose sandals he is unworthy to untie.  Thus, there is no taint of egocentricity in his identity.  It will be Jesus who will reveal his deep and unique being: “The greatest...

Second Sunday of Advent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD December 10, 2017 Second Sunday of Advent     WORD of the DAY  A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths’.  (Mark 1: 3) How shall I live this Word? The voice is that of John the Baptist, the one who prepares the way of the Lord Jesus.  He lived in a desert area in the region that included Jericho and where the Jordan flowed into the Dead Sea.  He spent his time in prayer and penance.  The people esteemed him and accepted his teachings.  The invitation to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ was, in fact, one thing alone with the other that explained its meaning.  Yes, making straight the way means conversion, changing one’s life.  This is no longer accomplished by recourse to idols, but by living each day in harmony with one’s conscience, aimed at practicing the Lord’s teachings. The verb ‘straighten’, forcefully expresses the need to leave every moral distortion so as to run, joyfully and agilely, on the ways of truth that are substantially one thing alone with the commitment to love. Lord, help me to...