Second Sunday of Advent: John the Baptist

index“One mightier than I is coming after me.  I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.”

Johnny Carson had Ed.  Ed would introduce Johnny and then sit on the couch…for 30 years.

Jack Benny had Don Wilson.  “The Price is Right” had Johnny Olson.  “Jeopardy” had Don Pardow.  Joey Bishop had Regis Philbin and Merv Griffin had Arthur Treacher.

They were the stars’ sidekicks  They were the ones who did not create shadows; it is the star in whose shadow they stood.  After their routine build-up of the star they were out of the picture.

And so enters and exits John the Baptist.  I guess if you wore camel’s hair and ate locust with wild honey (how else could anyone eat locust?!) long enough you wouldn’t, no couldn’t be the star.  It’s “someone else,” John keeps saying building up the suspense until the star arrives.

Who would be our sidekick in this wonderful journey of life?  You’d never guess who I think it is.  It’s our parents.  They are the ones who paved the way for us to enter this world, fed/clothed/admonished/counseled and tons of others duties to help us enter life’s stage to perform the one performance we’re able to make in life.

Advent is about anticipation. We kinda know what’s coming but we’re not sure how or when or the worst of all, why.  No matter how many Christmases you’ve honored through your life, you don’t know what this Christmas will bring, will mean, will prove to be.  A Christmas for many of you may have meant a holiday closer to bringing a solider home from Europe, a child’s first big gift under the tree, a resolve to do better at work or in your relationships, a hope things go as well next year as they did last year or a wish that it has to get better after this awfully long year of whatever occupied your time and attention.

People and situations can all be sidekicks to our one performance in life.  They can introduce us to all sorts of circumstances – some welcomed, others tolerated.

In case you didn’t notice, I made all of us the stars of the this earthly show.  What if we are the sidekick to someone else.  What if it is us wearing the dreadful camel’s hair and eating locust with the obligatory wild honey?  You were a sidekick to your own children – propelling them into a world that was foreign to you but trusting that they’d succeed, counseling a grandchild with advice you’re not sure of but you believe in.  (Believe me, grandchildren listen as they announce during your funeral what an influence you’ve had on their lives.)

I guess we can be and are both the sidekick and the star of our one life’s performance.  Sometimes we get to sit behind the desk with the hot lights and the microphone and other times we get to sit on the couch.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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