This ‘wonder’ of the being of John the Baptist can be said to be a reflection of the Psalmist’s expression in today’s reading: “I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation.”. In the renewed Church Year and lectionary, John the Baptiser is a central figure in the second and third Sundays in Advent. Today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the birth (nativity) of St. John the Baptist sheds a light on this significance, viz: John the Baptist was known as the forerunner of Christ. Learn how your comment data is processed. Thus, since John the Baptist was the first who preached repentance; therefore, rightly from that day forward it may be said, that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Mary’s final word in response to St. Gabriel’s announcement is “Fiat”: “Let it be done unto me according to your word” [Luke 1:38]. Dearest friends in Christ, in a postmodern society where it seems that the light of Christ is dimmed; we are called to contemplate upon the person of John the Baptist who prepared the way for the Lord and bore witness to that one true Light – our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Yet their responses differ profoundly. Every sinner is called into this silence. He is not even a voice, but silence: the silence in which the Voice is conceived, and a silence which you as a sinner must enter. There are only two other times we celebrate a nativity in the church’s calendar year. This is the end for which God created man “in the beginning”: to share in the divine life of the Trinity in a holy and eternal silence. One set is proclaimed at Vigil Masses on the evening before the feast … firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com. 138(139):1-3,13-15 A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. 1:14). Ultimately it is up to you, and if you truly want it, then God will help you acquire it. One set is proclaimed at Vigil Masses on the evening before the feast day, while the other set is proclaimed on the day itself. The Messiah comes to save us from the powers of darkness and death, and to put us back on the path of peace and reconciliation so that we might find our way back to God. But if the voice must decrease, so that the Word may increase, what can be said of Zechariah? Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist. He showed them how to find Christ, the one who could bring them salvation. June 24, 2020. John the Baptist challenged the people and taught them what they really needed to be saved, how much they needed to repent. Therefore, his birth was indeed very significant, for it contributed to our salvation history. Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil St. John the Baptist was born so that the Old Testament might die. St. John the Baptist was born to preach the message of repentance: the need to accept ourselves as sinner, and the need to accept Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins and those of the whole world. And now the Lord has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him: ‘It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’” This prophecy can be said to allegorically mirror the call and mission of John the Baptist before he was formed in his mother’s womb; and as stated earlier, ‘he will bring back many of the Israelites to the Lord their God. These two passages bookend the story of St. John’s birth. In the words of Paul: “Before John ended his career he said, ‘I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.’”, The gospel reading illustrates the birth and naming ceremony of the child. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is so important a feast that there are two full sets of Scripture readings for Holy Mass. The silence of Zechariah is what St. John of the Cross writes about: “What we need most in order to make [spiritual] progress is to be silent before this great God, with our appetites and our tongue.”, This silence is a means to man’s true end. Amen. The purpose of these festivals is not to celebrate the exact dates of these events, but simply to commemorate them … Wonderful Write-up. Likewise, the birth of John the Baptist brought joy and conversion to humanity as foretold through the lips of the angel: “many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink; even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the Israelites to the Lord their God. Today, as we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, we are remembering someone who was called by God to deliver a message and a man who took this mission very seriously. Today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the birth (nativity) of St. John the Baptist sheds a light on this significance, viz: John the Baptist was known as the forerunner of Christ. While Zachariah, his father regained the gift of speech as he named his child, all those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. We are unfaithful to God’s Word, because we cannot hear it for the cacophony of the modern world. Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26 Gospel Reading: Luke 1:57-66,80 Here, God’s graciousness was revealed to the world through the name given to the child, “John” (God is gracious). We are among those of whom the Beloved Disciple writes in the prologue to his Gospel account: “the Word came to His own, and His own people received Him not” [John 1:11]. The Vigil’s Gospel passage comes from the beginning of Luke 1. Yet regardless of whether you attend Mass this weekend on Saturday evening or Sunday, the Gospel passage you hear will be taken from the first chapter of St. Luke’s account of the Gospel. What does this mean? The prophets were God’s messengers. The archangel announces to each that a son is to be born. They spoke to the People of Israel in a very specific way. 1:14-17). For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The words of every reflection, whether in audio, video or text form, are copyrighted byFr. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is so important a feast that there are two full sets of Scripture readings for Holy Mass. John is often called the last of the Old Testament Prophets. Hmmm, this is really deep… “For great is the violence, when we who are born of this world, seek a place in heaven and obtain by righteousness what we have not by nature” May we find strength in God’s words and focus on Christ the Way to heaven, amen, Chinaka Mbaeri's Reflections Copyright © 2020. But with the birth of John the Baptist, it became pertinent for everyone to know that as old as she was, she was no longer cursed, but a woman blessed and miraculously favoured by God who can do all things. We are all invited to reflect and bear witness to that Light of Christ in bringing about true conversion to the world and a radical possession of the Kingdom of heaven: “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12). The Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24 comes three months after the celebration on March 25 of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy, and six months before theChristmas celebration of the birth of Jesus. June 24, 2020 For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The celebration of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, August 29, is nearly as old as his nativity. The silence illustrated by Zechariah is born of unbelief. According to our Catholic Tradition, we celebrate the feast days (i.e., the date of death) of the all the saints, and not their birthdays; however, only the birthdays of three persons are celebrated liturgically – Our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas (December 25), John the Baptist (June 24), and the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8), largely because of their significance in our salvation history. St. Luke the Evangelist here contrasts Zechariah with the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and experienced “martyrdom” while witnessing for the Truth. He was a model of selflessness and humility and said, “Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet” (Acts 13:25).
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