"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

December 14, 2013

Third Sunday of Advent

Filed under: Homilies — Tags: , — komonchak @ 3:00 pm

Third Sunday of Advent – December 12, 1971 – CNR

The question of John the Baptist we have heard recorded in today’s reading plays an extremely important role in the development of Matthew’s Gospel. Earlier chapters presented both the preaching of Jesus (the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5-7) and his miracles (chapters 8-9). And the whole unit of material leads to the question John asks, “Are you ‘He who is to come’ or are we to look for another?” It is the key question about Jesus of Nazareth; here it is asked of Jesus, but later it will be Jesus himself who asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15)

But John’s question, for Matthew, does not concern only the significance of Jesus. For just before his account of this incident, Matthew records Jesus’ commissioning of the disciples: “Go out and proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is upon you.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out devils.” (Mt 10:7-8) So it is also the ministry of the disciples, of the Church, that is questioned by John; the significance of the Church also hangs on Jesus’ reply.

The link between the two questions is obvious and immediate. (more…)

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December 8, 2013

Second Sunday of Advent

Filed under: Homilies — Tags: , — komonchak @ 9:12 am

Second Sunday in Advent–December 8, 1974–CNR

St. Paul meant it of the writings we call the Old Testament, but his words may be extended to include his own writings and the rest of the books that constitute the Christian Bible: “Everything written before our time was written for our instruction, that we might derive hope from the lessons of patience and the words of encouragement in the Scriptures.” That sentence speaks well of the place of our Christian living–if we look back to things said and done and written in the past, it is to gain hope for the future.

Advent, we saw last week, is the great season of hope; and in today’s liturgy the focus of its celebration turns from the expectation of the final coming of God’s Kingdom to the anticipation of the Word’s becoming flesh which we will celebrate at Christmas. (more…)

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