Today - we hear about two prophets. John the Baptist is not only last in the line of the great prophets of Israel, but he also witnessed Jesus first-hand and publicly proclaimed his presence. Jesus acknowledges the importance of John the Baptist, declaring him to be greater than all human beings.
Today, we also hear from St John of the Cross on his feast day. John was a Carmelite monk, poet, mystic, Church reformer, and Doctor of the Church. Living in 16th century Spain, in the turbulent era of the Spanish inquisition and the Protestant Reformation, John’s poetry, prayers, and theological writings speak to us today throughout the centuries. We will let John’s words speak for themselves today in an Advent prayer that he wrote:
If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the road
expectant with the holy one, and say,
"I need shelter for the night,
please take me inside your heart, my time is so close."
Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy,
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever,
as she grasps your hand for help,
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.
Yes there, under the dome of your being
does creation come into existence eternally,
through your womb, dear pilgrim - the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help:
for each of us is his beloved servant, never far.
If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the street expectant with light and will sing. Amen.