The Voice of One Crying Out in the Desert

The Voice of One Crying Out in the Desert - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon
Posted on 12/17/2023
Bishop Barron

Friends, for this Third Sunday of Advent, the Church asks us to focus on John the Baptist, who of course is one of the great Advent figures. It’s as though John stands on a kind of frontier or border: all of the human longing for God, in all its various expressions over the centuries and across the cultures, is summed up in this man. “Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist.” Yet what does he say? “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.’” At the limit of human religiosity, summing up all that we can bring to the table, this figure looks to another.

Watch The Voice of One Crying Out in the Desert - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon



Third Sunday of Advent

John 1:6–8, 19–28
Friends, in today’s Gospel, we are told that John “was sent from God.” The Baptist came, the Gospel writer tells us, “for testimony, to testify to the light”—for he was not, himself, the light.

From time immemorial, God has sent messengers, spokespersons. Think of all the prophets and patriarchs of Israel, indeed of every sage, philosopher, artist, or poet who has communicated something of God’s truth and beauty. All of these could be characterized as witnesses to the light.

The point is that the one to whom the Baptist bears witness is someone qualitatively different—not one more bearer of the Word, however impressive, but the Word himself. What is being held off here is the tendency—as prevalent today as in the ancient world—to domesticate Jesus and turn him into one more in a long line of prophets and seers.