John the Baptist's DNA test


Gosh, it is hard to believe that it is Advent already.  I say that every year, and this year I’ve had plenty of time to anticipate its arrival.  We’ve had snow on the ground at Collegeville already since November 10.  Nevertheless, it has caught me unaware yet again… even as all the readings the first week are about staying awake and being ready. 

Fortunately, this year, I signed up to preach for the second week, not the first, which has given me a little more time to get my act together.  The second Sunday of Advent as you know always has an appearance by John the Baptist.  Even though Jesus thinks very highly of him, he is not someone I have ever spent a whole lot of time thinking about and so this year I wanted to dig into his character a bit.  Where does he come from?  What does the odd dress mean?  How was he related to Jesus?  Lots of good scripture commentary about this.  I decided to play around with the identity of John a bit in this preaching inspired by my work with the Preaching and the Sciences grant project, where we are trying to use scientific insights and metaphors to open up scripture in a different way.  See what you think! 

I realize that many friends who get this newsletter are Dominicans and I wanted to make sure that you also knew of this treasure as you put together your Christmas wishlist:  It is called Thomas Aquinas and Teilhard de Chardin: Christian Humanism in an Age of Unbelief (Wipf and Stock, 2022).  It comes from my friend and mentor Fr. Don Goergen, OP who does a great job of putting into dialogue two great thinkers who never get seated next to one another at the same table.  The kindle version is especially reasonable price wise given the length and substance of the book.  If you have an inclination toward either Aquinas or Teilhard, I very much recommend.

My time at Collegeville is now running short.  I feel nowhere near ready to depart.  Still a lot of writing to do!  So please pray for me during this season that always feels not only so sudden but so quick.  And know that each morning while it is still dark, I’m also praying for you.