Where are our John the Baptists today? I was watching Fr. Corapi on television last night on EWTN, preaching before a large appreciative audience. His talk was about Why Catholics Leave the Church. They leave because of pride, he said.
They don’t recognize the truth of the Church or the authority of the pope. By missing Mass and the sacraments they cut themselves off from sanctifying grace. Pride is their downfall. Fr. Corapi comes down hard on “lousy” seminaries and liberal schools, Catholic and secular. His world is black and white; he doesn’t like grey.
In today’s readings, John the Baptist speaks from the wilderness and with sharp eyes looks at the world of his day. They come from Jerusalem and Judea, from everywhere to hear him. No one is excluded from his call to repent, not even himself.
He’s especially hard on the Pharisees and scribes who think they’re safely home: “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”
When a John the Baptist preaches, no one is left out, including himself. Try this one out as a John the Baptist sermon for today,