A Good Word by Fr. Greg Jakubowicz, OFM 12.4.2022
Hello Friends, There is an excellent program available to stream online for free called “The Chosen.” I might have mentioned it before as both Fr. Jack and I have watched both available seasons in the Rectory. Campus Ministry also showed Season 1 of the series each week in the Spring semester to students who came to see the respectful and realistic portrayal of Jesus and those He chose to be His disciples – The Chosen. I highly recommend the series. FYI – Season 3 will launch soon online! One of the characters whose portrayal in “The Chosen” sticks out for me is John the Baptist – who makes his Advent appearance in this Second Sunday of Advent’s Gospel from Matthew. In the series, the disciples of Jesus refer to John the Baptist as “creepy John.” Creepy, because if you think about it, as today's Gospel points out, he was strange. He ate locusts and honey and dressed oddly. Even 2000 years ago his ways were seen as weird. Yet he was also very zealous in his proclaiming the coming of God - the Messiah.
I read one commentator who wondered about what was it about John (“Creepy John”) that got people to listen to him and seek a baptism of repentance in the Jordan River. Given that he was considered so strange - wouldn't that weirdness work against him being listened to? But as tough as he was as when he would talk to the Sadducees and Pharisees - calling them a brood of vipers - there must have been something more about him other than his strange ways that led all those people to go out to the wilderness to hear him and then to be baptized by him. There must have been, as this commentator pointed out, something about “Creepy John” that led people to hope. People listened to him in anticipation of the Hope he shared with the coming of the Christ.
Advent is the season of preparation. You and I prepare by repenting or reforming our ways to be more in line with the Kingdom of God - to make straight the pathways for Christ’s Love to enter into our lives and into our hearts anew. Advent is also the season of hope because it always points out to us that even those of us who are off the right path can change and, notably, we are always loved by God as evidenced by the birth of Christ to a world still in sin. But in orde
r for you and me to prepare the way for Christ to enter into our lives and for us to recognize Christ, you and I need to pay attention to the types of voices that we listen to in our lives. Whose voice do you and I heed? What are we attracted to and how does it shape our lives? Do you and I listen to voices of hope, or do we listen to other voices that say something else? And, most importantly, are your and my voices offering experiences of hope to others. God continues to choose us to love. God continues to break into our lives with God’s Love. You and I, if we open our eyes, ears, and hearts to God’s in-breaking Love, the Incarnation, we will be on the right path. The path of Christ, our Hope. This is what leads to the joy of Ch
ristmas. As God continues to choose you and me, the chosen, may you and I this Advent season make whatever changes we need to make to truly choose Christ as the center of our lives. As always, if there is anything we can do for you at UB Catholic campus ministry, please let me know. We are here for you.
May God bless you with Peace and All Good. Fr. Greg