People Get Ready

12-04-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

As members of my R.C.I.A. class know by now, Biblical typology refers to things (as Catholic author Scott Hahn likes to say) “concealed in the Old (Testament) and revealed in the New (Testament).” In this weekend’s Gospel, we have one such example.

John the Baptist is described as slightly unfashionable. He is wearing “a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist.” He is dressed exactly like the prophet Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8!

This is pretty cool because the Jews of Jesus’ time would’ve known that according to Malachi, before the coming of the Lord, Elijah must come first. John the Baptist was announcing the coming of the Lord!

Fun fact: many Catholics don’t realize that Jesus Christ is the only founder of any major world religion who was preannounced. The prophesies about his life and ministry are spread throughout the Old Testament.

Here are two other fun ones: Isaiah 7:14 says that a virgin will give birth to a son. (Not a common occurrence.) And Micah 5:2 tells us the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (This is the equivalent of saying our savior would be born in Yuma.)

But don’t take Catholics’ word that Jesus arrived on the scene some 2000+ years ago!

Josephus was a prominent Jewish historian of the first century. These are his words: “Jesus’ conduct was good and was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive…”

The Roman historian Tacitus (56-117AD) reported on Jesus with obvious hostility and scorn toward Jesus and the early church. “Christus suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome...”

Getting ready for Christmas involves more than a shopping list. Jesus is coming.