Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist ~ June 23, 2022

Posted by Team Missio on Jun 21, 2022 4:06:55 PM

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“For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as His servant from the womb. …I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:3,6)

Reflections on the readings for the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 23, 2022): IS 49:1-6; PS 139:1-3,13-14,14-15; 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. 

John was called to proclaim the coming of the Messiah; to prepare the way for Him by turning people away from sin and selfishness and closer to God.

On this day when we revere the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist, we hear from the Acts of the Apostles about the unique mission God particularly chose him to fulfill. “John heralded (Jesus’) coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing this course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of His feet.’” (Acts 13:24-25). John was called to proclaim the coming of the Messiah; to prepare the way for Him by turning people away from sin and selfishness and closer to God. It was not surprising that some who listened to him wondered if he was actually the One. He humbly denied it. John was meant to speak out as the Almighty guided him; and he did so with truth and courage. In time it would cost him his life.  

But today, we rejoice in the birth of John who would point to our Savior’s arrival. God’s generosity to His beloved people would result in the Incarnation of His own Son. It would lead to Jesus Christ’s words of salvation and His healing of the suffering, and ultimately, to His Crucifixion and Resurrection. The angel Gabriel told Zechariah about the miracle of John’s birth despite the fact that he and his wife were elderly. Yet Zechariah could not believe it. So the father of the one who would cry out for all to hear that the Messiah was present among them to change the world, was rendered mute. Only at the birth of his son, when he acknowledged that he was to receive the God-given name John would Zechariah again speak. So the neighbors wondered and watched and waited.  John grew up and went into the desert. He prayed and let God prepare him for his role. John led a harsh existence. He was concerned only with the task God had set for him. His life was so unusual, so solitary, he may have wondered what it would have been like to have a family of his own, to lead a more common life. But, perhaps, John simply realized that His life had a certain path that was meant for him alone. In that, he was like his cousin Jesus. God’s will meant everything. In that, we are asked to make that same decision for ourselves: God first. God always. 

Topics: homily helps

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