Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist.

“No. He will be called John.” (Luke 1: 60). And John the Baptist was called John as Elizabeth his mother insisted.

Monday of the 12th week in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist. Only three birthdays are celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Church: Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist. Who is John the Baptist?

"John the Baptist is "more than a prophet." In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light." In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . . . Behold, the Lamb of God." (CCC 719).

The core ministry of St John the Baptist is Reconciliation: "Come back to Me." (Joel 2: 17; Jeremiah 3: 14, 3: 22, 4: 1; Hosea 11: 2).

"He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light,
preparing for the Lord a people fit for him." (John 1:7; Luke 1: 17).

Jesus gives John His greatest recognition of any human being:
"Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11: 11).

St John the Baptist pray for us.

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