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Monday, January 2, 2017

Bishop Baron's Daily Gospel Reflection January 2, 2017

Your daily Advent reflection...
Monday, January 2, 2017
Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Year I
John 1:19-28
Friends, in today’s Gospel John the Baptist identifies himself as “the voice of one crying out in the desert.” How often the great heroes of the Biblical revelation have to spend time in the desert: Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Paul. Even Jesus himself spends forty days and nights in the desert before commencing his ministry.

They have to wait through a painful time, living a stripped-down life, before they are ready. What does the desert symbolize? Confrontation with one’s own sin; seeing one’s dark side; a deep realization of one’s dependency upon God; an ordering of the priorities of one’s life; a simplification, a getting back to basics. It means any and all of these things.

But the bottom line is that they are compelled to wait, during a time and in a place where very little life seems to be on offer. But it is precisely in such deserts that the flowers bloom. Moses becomes a great leader; Abraham is the father of many nations; Joseph becomes the savior of his people; John the Baptist is the forerunner of the Messiah; Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles—all of this flowering was made possible by the desert.

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