The background material from the first two Sundays of Advent is relevant here. Again the early Christians are casting John the Baptist as a precursor of Jesus, perhaps inaccurate history but useful pedagogy because it suggests that we too have a Baptist-like role.
At another level, the Baptist had a religious insight not unlike that of Jesus, the notion of the kingdom of God, as described poetically in the psalms and the prophecies was becoming clearer and clearer in the minds of Jewish teachers (and there were parallel developments in other religious traditions at that time).
The Baptist saw the kingdom as apocalyptic and thus prepared for the appearance of Jesus’s more highly developed vision. Father Bruce Chilton (and Anglican scholar) has written well about the kingdom, especially in his book: “Pure Kingdom: Jesus Vision of God” (Erdmans).
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time there was a politician who was running in a very close election against a very clever campaigner. He had a good message and an exciting platform, but he was not well known. Thus he had to make a lot of speeches around the district, go to many meetings, attend tea parties, and receptions, and cocktail parties, and church gatherings, and touch every possible base in the district.
It was still an uphill battle. A good friend of his was his advance man, the fellow who made the arrangements for all the events and speeches and logistics for the campaign. He was not a very good advance man; rather he was unreliable and pompous and, worst of all, disorganized. The other people in the campaign hated him, but the candidate stuck with his friend. As the election drew near the polls showed the candidate losing ground.
The advance man knew they were going to lose, so he gave up altogether. The campaign self-destructed in the last week. Yet the candidate lost by only one half of one percent of the votes. All the media people said that if the campaign had been better organized, the voters would have got to know the candidate better and he would have won in a walk.
We’re supposed to be advance persons for Jesus.
Sometimes you wonder why he doesn’t fire us.
Psalms: lk 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
R/ (Is 61:10b) My soul rejoices in my God.
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Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
In Memory of Father Andrew M. Greeley
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