John the Baptist

Expectations & Fulfillment

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

This coming Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. In the readings for Mass, an option for the first reading is from Isaiah 40. The passage is ripe with imagery that perhaps sounds a little more like our Advent readings. In fact, this same reading is the reading for the second Sunday of Advent in Year B […]

The Anointing of Jesus

At first glance, the scene makes little sense. John’s strident call to repentance provokes an overwhelming response. People of all shapes and sizes flock to him in the wilderness. They are baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance and cleansing. Suddenly, out of the crowd steps John’s cousin, Jesus. Wait a minute. What’s Jesus, the sinless one, doing […]