We don’t have much familiarity with kingship in modern American society. Kings tend to make us uneasy. Presidents, on the other hand — we can handle those, because we know we are a president’s boss. No matter how much power he has, we are the electorate. We are the source of that power. We’re comfortable with this arrangement.
The story of John the Baptist is familiar to us. But we might have glossed over one simple line in today’s text, “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance” (v. 8). How, during the merriment of the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ do we do this?
During Advent, I think I ask myself, “Am I ready?” about 400 times, but it’s rarely in reference to anything that really matters. I’m worried about the gifts, the food for the family party, the delayed shipping on the Christmas cards. For what am I preparing here?
It’s never easier to despair than when you glance up and take a good look at what’s going on in the world: disasters, natural and contrived, wars, resentments, rivalries, and divisions. It is almost too much sometimes, isn’t it? The twenty-four-hour news cycle doesn’t help.
LPi is pleased to present a new writer for our weekly Gospel Meditations available in WeCreate starting this Advent season — Fr. John Muir, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale, AZ. Fr. Muir is a published author and speaker in the Catholic community. We interviewed him about his life and his parish community.
“Sic transit gloria mundi,” is what they used to say at papal coronations. “So passes earthly glory.” Everything is fleeting. Nothing is here to stay. But in reality, some things are forever. Our actions on earth do have the potential to reverberate in eternity.
We can only speculate as to what the original intentions of the wealthy tax collector were. We know he wanted to see Jesus, of course — but what does that mean? Was he simply curious about this famous and controversial man? Was he moved by what he heard of Jesus’ teachings? Was he trying to catch a glimpse, or to get close?
Jesus told us that the world would one day come to an end. He describes some of what we will see in this Sunday’s Gospel. Some people make it their personal ambition to attempt to determine precisely WHEN this event will take place. But is it necessary to know?