Thursday June 24
Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
  • Isaiah 49: 1-6
  • Ps 139: 1-15
  • Acts 13: 22-26
  • Luke 1: 57-66,80

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St.John the Baptist. The Gospel proclamation portrays a situation where Jewish parents customarily name their male child on the day of circumcision. This event is of great importance as it signals the beginning of the child’s covenant membership in Israel. The people are amazed by the miracle that takes place when John’s father Zechariah’s tongue is loosened. Following nine months of silence, he experiences a dramatic recovery. It shows that he no longer doubts but accepts with joy the arrival of the child. The Gospel also says that the child grew up in the spirit.

Last year, while celebrating the Feast of the Nativity of St.John the Baptist, Pope Francis said that, “Let us learn from the one who was the forerunner of Jesus the ability to bear witness to the Gospel with courage, beyond our own differences, while preserving the harmony and friendship that form the basis of any credible proclamation of the faith.” The Pope also reminded us that, despite the Covid-19 crisis, to understand that it’s indeed “a peaceful time of rest, enjoyment of the beauty of creation, and strengthening of the ties between us and God.”

St. John the Baptist passed the baton to our Lord Jesus. The main purpose of his life was to bring people to the awareness of God in repentance. He accepted his mission from the hands of God and never crossed his boundaries to exalt himself. In one instance John’s disciples complained that His disciples were leaving him and going to Jesus. John gave a.famous response; “That is how it should be. He must increase, I must decrease.” This spirituality is vital for us also. As we go through the Gospels, we see Jewish religious leaders sending priests and levites to check if St.John is the Messiah, but he insists he is not. His obedience, humility and standing for truth no matter what are lessons for us today to ponder over. St.John the Baptist obeyed his calling and spent his whole life working towards brining people to God through repentance. Our mission continues as we introduce Jesus Christ to our family and friends through our words and deeds.

Prayer: Abba Father, I am not very clear about the road ahead of me but I know You are already there waiting for me. Lead me by the right road, I trust you always. Amen.

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