WHAT THE MESSENGER DIDN’T KNOW

487px-Virgin_with_Child_and_Saint_John_the_Baptist-Biagio_dAntonio-MBA_Lyon_B438-IMG_0303This homily is based on Mark 1:1-8.

First to appear on the Advent stage is the familiar but disturbing figure of John the Baptist, the so-called “forerunner and messenger of the Lord.”

We’ve met this guy before: We’ve read about the announcement of his birth before his cousin’s. Yes, that other Annunciation where things didn’t exactly go well: His father Zechariah understandably thought himself and his wife way beyond the age limit for biological parenthood, the angel uncharacteristically lost his cool, and poor Zechariah consequently went speechless for virtually nine months. His prophet son, of course, eventually more than made up for that long silence.

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