Monday, June 25, 2007

St. John the Baptist - June 24

St. John the Baptist – June 24

St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of my alma mater, St. John’s College, Alor. He is the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Born into a priestly family, he had an educated upbringing and was privileged.

St. John the Baptist understood very well God’s purpose for life, that is, to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. Without compromise, he fulfilled this mission which was foretold long before his birth by the Prophet Isaiah. Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest of the prophets.
What are his virtues? Courage, wisdom and the spirit of prophecy must be mentioned among many. His greatest attainment was the crown of martyrdom. In the Eucharistic prayer on his feast day, the Church says that God favored John with a martyr’s death. John died like Christ for the kingdom of God. In dying for Christ, we are most like Christ. This is why the Church honors martyrs very highly.
Apart from physical death, there are other ways of dying for Christ.
We die for Christ, when we accept:

• Delays, disappointments and obstacles
• Insults, contempt, humiliations and rejections
• Physical pain and injuries

We do not invite these situations; they come to us in the course of life.
“It is the spirit that gives life. The flesh has nothing to offer.”
When we apply the words of Jesus in our situation, the Holy Spirit breathes life into our spirituality. When we hear the words and do not apply them, we become like flesh that has nothing to offer.

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