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Gospel Reading for June 24, 2024 – Luke 1: 57-66, 80

GENUINE PRECURSOR

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

————

It is interesting to note that aside from Jesus, the Catholic Church celebrates the nativity only of Mary and John the Baptist. It is said that it is because Mary was holy in the womb of her mother Anne, and John was sanctified in the womb of his mother Elizabeth when he stirred in her womb at the presence of the unborn Jesus. Their births are very important in the history of salvation: Mary who responded to God’s call to be the mother of the Saviour; and John the Baptist who was called to be the precursor of the Saviour.

John was born to a woman who was not only advanced in age, but known to be barren. His father became speechless when he could not believe the angel who told him that he and his wife would have a child. He was able to speak only when he insisted and wrote the name of John, spreading fear among the neighbors because his birth was not ordinary. His life was also not ordinary. He responded to God’s call to be the precursor of Jesus in the best way he could, hence, he had a lot of followers who he also led to Jesus when Jesus finally started his Ministry. He was a GENUINE PRECURSOR. He knew when to stop, when to fade away, so he could give way to the Saviour.

Hopefully, we too, especially those in the Ministry, are like John. We know when to stop, to fade away and give way to God in the lives of others.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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