Many people in our parish our using the Magnificat for the Daily Readings and meditations. It’s a great resource and for each season the publishers also sends out a “companion” booklet with more reflections. The Advent Companion is great. Here is one of the reflections.
John the Baptist has the manners of a bulldozer. One expects he might be awkward at a bridge party. For an age wary of truth claims and untroubled in conscience, the raw conviction of this prophet, his threats of doom, and desert revival preaching can look like the quaint madness of another world and time. Why should we listen to a man who eats bugs? Certainly, he could use some sensitivity training. He seems, after all, to assume – with little pause for inquiry – that you and I need repentance: desperately, urgently, immediately. He looks to level our excuses of being busy and sincere and flatten our protests of righteousness. Today, then, as the Gospel transports us with the great crowds to confront John at the Jordan, Christ poses to us the key question: “What did you go out to the desert to see – a reed swayed by the wind? (Lk 7:4) May we not be spiritual sightseers this Advent; for the boldness of John is no show or disease. His is strong in the Spirit with the fire of God; a prophet – and more than a prophet. John is a witness. For he saw what Elijah and the elder prophets just foresaw. He offers not forecasts, but testimony. So let us let him pave a path in our hearts to meet one mightier than he.
Almighty Father, knock down every obstacle and roadblock in my heart. Uproot the tangle of my vices. Clear a path of grace through my cluttered life so that Christ your Son may approach.
Fr. Anthony Giambrone, O.P.