John was born to proclaim the presence of our Savior to His people
Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist - Mass during the Day (June 24, 2018): IS 49:1-6; PS 139:1-3, 13-14-15; ACTS 13:22-26; LK 1:57-66, 80
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we celebrate the birth of John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, cousin of Mary of Nazareth and her child Jesus, the Son of God.
At the Annunciation, Mary learned that her much older relative was pregnant and she went to be with her. The Holy Spirit sanctified the baby in Elizabeth’s womb and, later, “Elizabeth…gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown His great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.…The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel” (Luke 1:57-58, 80).
St. John the Baptist has a unique place in the story of the world’s salvation. Almighty God singled him out to prepare the Jewish people for the coming of the Messiah. John was a man of strong-minded courage and dedication to the Father’s plan for His people. John proclaimed the coming of the long-awaited Redeemer and baptized people who wanted to change their lives and atone for their sins. This last of the prophets of the Old Covenant exposed evil when he saw it – and John saw it in King Herod and Herodias. And for that he was martyred. But today we pause to remember the baby born to a husband and wife who thought they would never know the joy of parenthood. Let us thank God for the beauty of birth and life itself – in time and in eternity.