– Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist –
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins. [Luke 1:76-77]
Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. It should be an encouragement concerning God’s guidance of humanity, marking as it did the imminent arrival of the Messiah. It was John the Baptist who announced to the world the amazing presence of the beloved Son who had come to save us: he was sent for this. He was the last great prophet of Israel who, under the breath of the Holy Spirit, discovered the mystery of the Lamb; the presence of the One whom the Father sent to be the Saviour of his people and of all humanity: “Behold the Lamb of God.”
How sorely we need the testimony of John the Baptist to be heard again by the whole world; a world which, 2000 years after the gift of the Father, is still, for the most part, plunged in darkness! May we, like St John the Baptist, be luminous witnesses, true witnesses of the Word Incarnate, of the mystery of the Lamb in the world! Let us ask for the grace today to be authentic witnesses to Christ in a world that is perishing for a lack of faith, hope and charity; witnesses who are burning with love, with the love that comes from the heart of Jesus!
Let us ask John the Baptist to renew in us the strength of his witness. May we keep in our hearts that fervour of first love, which John the Baptist shows us so powerfully; a fervour which enabled him to be a witness to the truth, a fervour which leads us to be true witnesses to the love of Jesus in the gift of our whole selves.
by Sr Samuel Angleys
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