So a red-shirt frosh has captured the Heisman and set a new record for the books. A winner! He must be full of happiness at such recognition; Texas A&M must be rejoicing along with him.
We have a winner in today’s Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent. John the Baptist, an odd man by our standards, born into privilege, dressed like a hippie, doing “his thing” down at the river water rather than in the temple, being prophetic for he had received the Word of God deeply into his heart, his psyche, his being, his very way of life.
We have winners around us today: prophets in our midst. Do we notice? They might be stand outs like JB … odd people by our standards: the person without a home standing on the street corner looking for a handout … the person in the news who stands up for human rights and gets cut down by various groups because we just can’t handle their message at the moment … the environmentalists challenging us to look at how we treat God’s lovely gift of creation … all these folks have something to say to us. Advent might be a good time to reflect at the end of each day: what prophet/s did I meet today? What did they have to say to me? Can I hold the tension of their challenge and my discomfort? Am I able to feel God nudging me to “the more”? Like JB, can I receive the Word of God deeply into my very being so that this Word transforms my very way of life?
Yes, we have winners all around us. I hope that Manziel, Te’o, Klein, and Lee have parties and awards for their team efforts this season. They deserve it. So do their respective schools. But John the Baptist, a man we surely would place on the “marginalized persons” list if he were alive today, is also a big winner this Advent Sunday. And he challenges us to go beyond the parties and awards to a place of welcoming the Word within. I’m up for the challenge … how about you?