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Nativity of John the Baptist

1st Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Resp.:  Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
2nd Reading: Acts 13:22-26
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80

John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. He heralds the advent of Jesus coming to preach and teach and ultimately die for all our sins. Just as the dawn precedes the day and clouds precede a rainstorm, Jesus was made known to those who listened to John even before he was born on the earth. In order to make room for God in our hearts, we must be prepared. If we are so full of ourselves, we cannot make room for Jesus. This is why the life of John the Baptist is necessary.

John's baptism was one of repentance – and by repenting we make room for God in our hearts. Then when we hear the word of God, it can take root and yield 30, 60 and 100-fold. As St. John of the Cross tells us, the Holy Spirit speaks to us whenever we read the Scriptures. This means that the Holy Spirit moves us to be and to do, when we are attentive to God's words.  

Doing God's Will makes us vibrant members of the Church. Just like when Zechariah verified that his son's name is John and was able to praise God, our belief in Jesus despite not seeing, despite not feeling perhaps, we are moved to praise Him as we should. May the birth of John the Baptist help us to repent and believe in an even greater way.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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