Third Sunday of Advent

Homily Video

Third Sunday of Advent Homily Transcript

>>John the baptizer. What a wonderful character in our Scriptures. What a powerful man of God in our tradition. John, who is the hinge pin in so many ways between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. He is the best of the old and he ushers in the new. He is a person of conviction, without a doubt. He is a person of great courage and wonderful humility.  

When I was in the seminary, the rector was a man by the name of Father Tom Murphy, who later became the bishop of Billings, Montana, and then the Archbishop of Seattle. I remember clearly one of the homily’s that he gave when he talked about the virtue of humility.  

Humility is a kind of honesty, acknowledging in yourself the things that you do very well, and to be grateful for that because their gifts from God and use them and to acknowledge perhaps what you don’t do so well and try to learn to do better. Wonderful advice about humility.  

And John was that humble person. He knew who he was. He knew that he was sent from God, but he knew that he was not the Christ, not the anointed one. He had this great humility when he told his own disciples, pointing to Jesus. He is the one that you must follow.  

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He must increase and I must decrease. He sends his own disciples to follow the Christ, the Messiah. And courage. Oh, what courage He had. He spoke truth to power. He challenged Herod and he challenged the common norms of the day. And for that he was martyred. He lost his life. He faced everything with great humility and with great courage.  

He is the one who tells us that he’s not worthy to untie the sandals of the straps of Jesus. He is the one who points us to follow the Christ, particularly as we prepare during this Advent season to draw closer to the Lord as we’re all invited. The Lord who brings light and hope and peace in our hearts, and then to the world. 

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