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resting at the close of advent three...

On the third Sunday of Advent, as I prepare to head out for another quick retreat with my friends at L'Arche Ottawa, I found myself reflecting on the tender aspect of John the Baptist. For nearly 40 years I have been listening to these texts but never once realized that St. John's gospel never speaks of John as the Baptist - always the witness.  In my worship notes, I put it like this:

One of the most beautiful affirmations in the Christian tradition is the Angus Dei: the Lamb of God. It enters the Christian imagination early in St. John’s gospel, when Jesus traveled across the Jordan River to Bethany, where his wild man of the desert cousin, Yohanan, was ritually purifying people in a sacramental bath, symbolizing the forgiveness of sins by the grace of God.

· We know him as John the Baptist, but St. John’s gospel never gives him that title. Rather, in this story, John is the witness – the martyria in New Testament Greek – the one who always points to the Messiah. Hi…

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