“The second week of Advent calls us with John the Baptist to repent, to be pure and blameless so that our own exile, like the exile of the chosen people, can be ended when we, too, grow to full spiritual stature.”
Joan Chittister; The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life
When I think about John’s wilderness message and his baptism of repentance, I am reminded of these powerful words from Stanley Hauerwas’ Theological Commentary on Matthew.
“Jesus is unleashed into the world. His mission will not be easy, for the kingdom inaugurated by his life and death is not one that can be recognized on the world’s terms. He is the beloved Son who must undergo the terror produced by our presumption that we are our own creators. He submits to John’s baptism just as he will submit to the crucifixion so that we might know how God would rule the world. His journey begins. Matthew would have us follow.”