Being John the Baptist, being touched and bringing healing to our world


Father Francisco began his homily by discussing the golden mean of Aristotle. Giving the example of courage, he compared it with cowardice on the one side, and rashness on the other. Our word, “OK comes from the Greek, “Olla Kalos,” or literally, “All is beautiful,” “All is in order.” When things are in balance and the golden mean is created, the world is said to be healthy.

The Greek word, “ὑγιής,” is generally translated into the Latin as “Sanus, “Sane.” It generally means whole, as the Hebrew word, “Shalom,” means whole. The Greek, “ἰατρός,” was the doctor, the one who heals. Jesus as “ἰατρός,” used θεραπεύω, or in English, “Therapy.” He touches us. In relation to communities, St. Augustine discusses justice:

St. Augustine writes in Book Two, Chapter 21 of the City of God, “Scipio, at the end of the second book. Among the different sounds, which proceed from lyres, flutes, and the human voice, there must be maintained a certain harmony, which a cultivated ear cannot endure to hear disturbed or jarring. This is elicited in full and absolute concord by the modulation of voices very unlike one another.

Where reason is allowed to modulate the diverse elements of the state, there is obtained a concord from the upper, lower, and middle classes. What musicians call harmony, is concord in matters of state, which is the strictest bond and best security of any republic, and which by no ingenuity can be retained where justice has become extinct.

We are not all paid the same. God pays the flutist the timpani, the viola and the tuba player differently. The orchestra is complete when they all work together to play the same tune, with God as the conductor. This is concord, justice. St. Augustine quotes Scipio as saying, “The people are not every assemblage or mob, but the assembly of legal consent for a common usefulness. This is the tune.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Scipio, and St. Augustine concludes that a republic, or good of the people, exists only when the assembly of legal consent is governed justly. The United States is founded upon being an assembly of legal consent with the purpose of playing the tune of concord, of promoting for a common usefulness, life, life lived to its fullest for all the assembly, along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This pursuit has no meaning if only a select few can ever realize the goal. The pursuit implies a reasonable chance of success for all the people of the assembly. This is the reason for our government.

Father Francisco continued his homily by pointing out Gabriel touched Zechariah in the temple. Zechariah does not believe the promise of God, Elizabeth, because Elizabeth, the promise of God is sterile. If the leaders do not believe their mission, what exits their mouths are gibberish words, polished, but empty rhetoric.

Edward Everett, gave a two-hour speech of grand eloquence, at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. It is forgotten now. The President of the United States gave a speech of 271 words, now famous as the Gettysburg Address. That speech, delivered with meaning, is remembered.

In English, we have the phrase, “Silence is deafening.” We also believe silence can be pregnant with meaning. Silence can be golden. When Zechariah leaves the temple, now knowing about the birth of John the Baptist, he is silent. This silence tells the crowd, including men who do not believe in angels, that Zechariah has undergone some kind of profound religious experience. As a direct result of that experience, Zechariah undergoes a profound change, and tells us, the new John the Baptists:

You, child, will have the mark of Navy of the Most High;

You will go before the face of the Personal Name to prepare his track through the desert to the Promised Land, to give his people knowledge of salvation/Joshua/Jesus.

You will bring forgiveness of their failures, because of the tender mercy of our Almighty Judge, through which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

The founder of our religious order tells us, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” He also relates, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Let us listen to the words of our Blessed saints. Let us constantly strive to create in America, an assembly of legal consent of the people, by the people, and for the people. Let us strive to create an assembly of legal consent with the purpose of playing the tune of concord for all people. Let us look up to our mural at St. Thomas Aquinas and strive to be like the people who made it to our mural.

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