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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Second Week of Advent, Year A, December 5th, 2010 “You should be baptizing me…”

Posted by admin on August 3, 2009


“You should be baptizing me…”

Selected readings this week:

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 11:1-10, Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
  • Epistle: Romans 15:4-13
  • Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

Have we found John the Baptist’s Home in the Desert?

Probably not. However, the cave, announced in 2004 to the world as possibly being used by John the Baptist, still helps us understand how ritual immersion was performed in ancient Judea. As an explicit corroboration of a Biblical person or event, there is little to go on in this case to be too certain. Research continues, and new discoveries have tended to support the accuracy of our Scriptures. Our faith is well founded.

The Root of Jesse

It may be recalled that the Jews during Jesus’ time were aware of certain prophetic clues that would help them understand who the promised Messiah was and when he would arrive. That the Messiah would come from the root, or ‘stump of Jesse,’ is one such example.

Jesse was the father of King David (Ruth 4:22, 1 Sam. 16). God promised a savior as early as Genesis 3:15. Later, the promise was refined and of the 12 tribes of Israel, Judah was selected (Gen. 49:10). This prophecy in Isaiah narrows it further, to one family within the line of Judah: Jesse’s. And Jesse’s line was no ordinary line. His was a royal line, the line of David.

By the first century, Jews were on the lookout for signs of the Messiah, and it was emphasized that Jesus met the requirements. For example, the importance of Jesus’ lineage and birthplace are given positions of prominence in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt. 1-2).

In 70 AD Jerusalem and its temple was destroyed and there followed a great dispersion of the Jews. In a Divine Irony, this monumental event wiped out many of the ways the Jewish people could have recognized the Messiah. One wouldn’t be able to verify that someone was in the line of Judah, or from Bethlehem, etc. There can be no other candidates for the Messiah because their credentials can’t be tested. If it is not Jesus, it is no one.

Many Jews today no longer look for a warrior-king, but have different ideas. For example, some suggest that the state of Israel itself could be the Messiah.

Thomas Aquinas on the Objection that John the

Baptist Ought Not to Have Baptized.

I answer that, It was fitting for John to baptize, for four reasons: first, it was necessary for Christ to be baptized by John, in order that He might sanctify baptism; as Augustine observes. Secondly, that Christ might be manifested. Whence John himself says “That He,” i.e. Christ, “may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” For [as Chrysostom observes] he announced Christ to the crowds valacyclovir hcl 500mg that gathered around him …

Thirdly, that by his baptism he might accustom men to the baptism of Christ; … Fourthly, that by persuading men to do penance, canadian pharma companies cialis he might prepare men to receive worthily the baptism of Christ… (Aquinas, Summa Part 3, Q38).

Written c. 1270 AD. Source:

The River Jordan

The river Jordan played an important role in the events of the Bible and is still important in the region today. In fact, water in general shaped and continues to shape events in the region. The Jordan river connects the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, separated by about 65 airline miles, but the river itself makes the journey over 200 miles. The river descends to the lowest point on earth, dropping at about 40 feet per mile, making it an extremely fast flowing river. The Sea of Galilee is a fresh water lake but its waters, by the time they get to the Dead Sea, become the most ‘salty’ lake on the planet. The oceans have a salinity of 3.5%, and the Great Salt Lake in Utah is 18%. The Dead Sea is 26-35%.

One begins to see the symbolism involved in being baptized in the Jordan. The rushing waters tear away at you, scouring away your dirt, depositing it into the Dead Sea. Today, the river is much slower because of water management projects. Its value as symbolism has diminished, but it still retains its importance as the countries of Syria, Israel, and Jordan all rely on it.

Primary Sources: The Moody Atlas of the Bible.

From an Ancient Author:

Jewish historian Josephus, writing in 93 AD, describes the death of Herod and John the Baptist, thus corroborating the New Testament accounts in many respects.

“Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; …. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had, … thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, … and was … put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God’s displeasure to him.” (Josephus, Antiquities Bk. 18) buying phenagren without a prescription [See Matt 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29, Acts 12:19-22]

First Sunday of Advent November 28, 2010, The Promised One Comes

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The Promised One Comes!

Jesus told his disciples to be ready at any time and also warned them about false ‘Christs.’ There had already been some (eg, Acts 5:33-38). Like the flood (Matt 24:37), the coming of the gabapentin on the counter real Christ will be impossible to miss.

Selected readings this week:

  • Old Testament: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122
  • Epistle: Romans 13:11-14
  • Gospel: Matthew 24:36-44

What is Advent?

In many places today the terms the Church uses can be confusing or appear archaic. ‘Advent’ is a word we still use today, as in “The advent of the computer changed the world…” ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival.’ During the Christmas season it abg pill 100 is easy to see that the ‘arrival’ being celebrated is Jesus… God…. Coming to save the world.

However, as the texts for this day indicate, it is not only a celebration of Jesus’ arrival as an infant, but also a hopeful expectation of Jesus’ return, as he promised to do. He came once in weakness, he will come again in glory. God promised a savior, and the savior came. Jesus promised to return, return he will.

There have been many differences of opinions in the Christian church about the nature of Jesus’ second coming. Our passages for this week suggest one thing that all can agree on: Jesus calls us to be ready. What does ‘be ready’ mean? For one thing, it means to behave as though Jesus might come this very hour.

Because he might.

Marana tha!*

*1 Corinthians 16:22,

Aramaic for “Come, O Lord.”

Biblical Language Insight:

Matt. 24:42 ‘keep watch’

grhgoreite (gray-gor-yoo’-o)

to watch, to take heed lest some destructive calamity suddenly overtake you.


The Church Fathers Said…

St. Augustine Describes his Conversion after opening to Today’s Reading in Romans 13:11-14
“I was saying these things and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when suddenly I heard the voice of a boy or a girl I know not which–coming from the neighboring house, chanting over and over again, “Tolle, lege; tolle, lege; pick it up, read it.” Immediately I ceased weeping and … damming the torrent of my tears, I got to my feet, for I could not but think that this was a divine command to open the Bible and read the first passage I should light upon. So I quickly returned to the bench where … I had put down the apostle’s book … I snatched it up, opened it, and in silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: “… not in sexual immorality or debauchery… Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ…” I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away.” Augustine’s Confessions. Bk 8, chp 7.

The Old City of Jerusalem

Both of the Old Testament readings talk about Jerusalem, or Mt. Zion. In Isaiah 2:3 we read the beckoning, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” In fact, the Scriptures often talk about going ‘up’ to Jerusalem. This is because Jerusalem is situated on a high hill surrounded by several deep valleys, the Hinnom, Kidron, and Tyropoeon. The Mt. of Olives, where the Garden of Gethsemane was located, was on the other side of the Kidron Valley, and Jesus would have been able to see the torches of the men coming to arrest him from a distance.

Jerusalem was called the “Mountain of the Lord’ but this wasn’t merely because it was a difficult city to overcome, but because the temple was built there and was where God was present.

Jerusalem seems to have always been associated with the presence of God. As early as the 19th century BC the city appears in Egyptian and Semitic records as Urusalim, or ‘uru’ (city) and ‘salim’ (a Divine name). This was long before David captured the city. Indeed, it was out of Salem that the priest and king, Melchizedek brought out bread and wine buy nexium tablets online to Abram after Abram rescued Lot (Genesis 14:18, also see Psalm 110 and Hebrews 5).

Primary Sources: The Moody Atlas of the Bible.

The House of David Inscription.

For years and years Christians have had to put up with claims rolling out of various academic institutions insisting that the historicity of the Bible simply cannot be trusted. For example, who could believe that David captured Jerusalem (2 Sam 5:6-9) when David didn’t even exist? Of course, David was just an invention of nationalistic Jews many centuries later! Not so fast. In 1994, an Assyrian, 9th Century BC stone listing Assyria’s enemies listed the ‘house of David’ as one of them. We should be skeptical of the claims of scholars who have their minds made up to distrust the Bible before they even start their work.

Second Sunday of Advent December 6 2009

Posted by admin on August 2, 2009


Malachi i want to buy clomid online 3:1-4 zovirax cream ointment or Baruch 5:1-9

Luke 1:68-79

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Philippians wellbutrin xl online no rx 1:3-11

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Luke 3:1-6

First Sunday of Advent November 29, 2009

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Jeremiah 33:14-16

Psalm 25:1-10

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Luke 21:25-36