Random homily tidbits
First, a homily last week focused on what a treasure we have in the Eucharist, in God humbling Himself to the point of becoming literal food for us. This treasure of God, His own being and life, is greater than any earthly treasure that we can possibly imagine. Yet, he went on, what kid would not eagerly take on the challenge of taking a treasure map and going out to find where "x marks the spot"? What adult would not eagerly go out in search of wealth, or power, or love? And yet, when it comes to the greatest treasure of all, it is often dismissed as being too difficult, or not worth the effort. Too many get discouraged, and drift away, too many do not realize the worth of the treasure. We need to keep our eyes "fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), and always keep in mind the end for which we were created for - complete union with God in heaven. Where our treasure is, there our heart will be -- and so, on earth, we need to remember that the Eucharist is our treasure, and so bring our hearts closer to Him.
Secondly, in a homily yesterday, on the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the priest made mention of the fact that it was at this point, when John recognized the arrival of the Savior in Mary, and leapt in Elizabeth's womb (womb-to-womb communication!), that one of the traditions of the Church says that he was "baptized" and freed from sin, so as to be able to fulfill the mission that was intended for him, to make straight the way of the Lord. John was thus born without sin, and is thought to have lived the rest of his life without sin. In this way, John was indeed the "greatest [man] born of woman" as Jesus observed, in a way very different from the Virgin Mary (who was conceived without Original Sin so as to be able to fulfill her vocation as the pure and spotless Mother of Jesus Christ).
Interesting... if anyone knows where this idea of John's "womb baptism" originated from, I would really be interested to see where this has been discussed in the Church -- I sure never heard it before!