The first three Sundays of Advent speak of an adult Christ and the future reign of God, not of an infant born in the past. Only on the fourth Sunday of Advent do we turn back to the event of annunciation, and then on Christmas Eve to the birth of the Christ child.
How strange that in the space of just one recent week a book reviewer in the New York Times mentions the "frisson-inducing" discovery only nine years ago of a ninth century BC stele referring to the "House of David," thus issuing "a stony rebuff to those who think that David is a mythical figure," while another reviewer, writing about Thomas Cahill's new book, raised seriously the ques
Blaise Pascal evokes a sense of existential dread in this famous line: "The eternal silence of those infinite spaces terrifies me." In his poem For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio, W. H. Auden pictures the human being forsaken in a blank, fathomless universe:
Not long before the onset of the cancer that finally killed him, King Hussein of Jordan undertook a small mission. He paid a personal visit to the families of some Israelis who had been killed in an Arab terrorist bombing.
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