The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Published on Jun 24th, 2012 by Austin Keith | 0

During all the trials and tribulations of God’s chosen people, prophets of old foretold that a man would be born who would herald the message to “prepare the way” for the Redeemer of all Mankind.

St. Mark’s Gospel begins telling us the story of a man named John the Baptist. Quoting the prophet Isaiah it states:

Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way, A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight (Mk: 1:3)

In order to learn of the way the birth of John came about, we must move to St. Luke’s Gospel where we are introduced to Zechariah and Elizabeth who “both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.” (Lk: 1:7) The angel Gabriel stated that with God all things are possible and we know the rest of this miraculous story. Elizabeth indeed conceives and while in her sixth month is visited by her kinswoman Mary, the mother of God. We are told that upon their greeting, “the child (John) leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Lk: 1:41ff)

Their story becomes ours and God’s marvelous plan for Salvation History is put into place. John’s role to “prepare the way of the Lord” and teaching people “salvation for the forgiveness of their sins”; being washed clean in the life-giving water of baptism will be the common theme throughout his life.

John will fulfill this role until the end of his life. He will continue to speak of the goodness of God as the herald deferring to the glory of “the One who is to come,” the Savior, Jesus Christ. When others attempted to make of him something that he knew he was not, he pointed the way to the one who was and is truly God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ the Lord; the Redeemer of all mankind.

Today as we celebrate this Solemnity of John’s birth, let us never fail to understand that each of us are called by God to fulfill our individual roles  to accomplish the work that God has planned for us. Let us never fail to realize that God has specific plans for each of us in His grand plan for bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. Each of us, like John, though not of noble or of royal birth has a place in and specific role that God has planned out from the beginning of the world.

Remember, God always has chosen the most unlikely of prophets to spread the news of His loving and guiding plan for this world of His. Never let us forget the words of the psalmist that we listen to today: “I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139)

God Bless,
Father John