Was John the Baptist a man of misgivings or a living torch of conviction? Let’s take a look at how the Gospels sketch him.
‘Pray for me!’ – these are words often uttered by Francis to the most varied audiences. And the more he says it, the more bewilderment he causes many Catholics, because its not unusual that he says this not only to faithful of the Catholic Church, but also to excommunicated persons, schismatics, muslims, communists, atheists, and others…
‘You water the hills from your lofty abode; the earth is sated with the fruit of your works’ (Psalm 103:13). This simple material reality presented by the sacred text – of rain that irrigates the mountains, giving rise to springs and streams that in turn water the Earth – was chosen by the Angelic Doctor for his inaugural lecture at the University of Paris.
A light word, in certain circumstances is considered normal, for it’s a natural way of making human relationships more pleasant. But, this jesting must be done with equilibrium and respect. Consequently, it’s easy to understand that certain situations do not permit this means of expression, especially by those who hold more elevated positions. For example, what would we think of a Head of State who cracks a joke at the funeral of a victim of terrorism?
It’s normal to be afraid of being bitten by a snake, whose deadly poison kills in just a few minutes. This is especially true in places where such a danger is a reality and not just a remote possibility: one walks through the natural habitat of these perilous creatures with redoubled attention to any suspicious movement….and if possible one even tries to avoid such places.