Carmelite Homilies are recorded by Fr. Gregory Houck, O, Carm., following the Cycle of Readings of the Common Lectionary. His preacher’s blog is found at: fathergreg.com
I was a teacher at one of our high schools and I was asked to be a chaperone on the student trip to Europe. After the trip was over I stayed in Europe and went to visit Straubing in Germany, which was the founding house of the United States Carmelites, to spend the rest of the summer there. And when I arrived it was this day – the Nativity of John the Baptist. And I walked into the church expecting it to be empty and it was packed with people, and the choir was singing, and there was incense, and it was sheer beauty. And that’s always been my understanding since that that’s what John the Baptist does. He’s a precursor of the Lord; he’s the announcer of the Lord; he’s the one who says, ‘Behold the Lamb of God.’ He points out beauty. Carmel, as you know, means ‘Garden of God.’ It is a beautiful garden. That’s always been my understanding of John the Baptist. He brings us into, points at, shows us beauty. Let’s live in beauty this day.