The Nativity of St John the Baptist
The Nativity of St John the Baptist: Monday 24th June 2019
Is. 49:1-6; Ps. 139(138):1-3,13-15;
Acts 13:22-26; Lk. 1:57-66,80
John the Baptist was born under strange circumstances. Now the time had come for his parents to name the child. The relatives and neighbours who had gathered for the ceremony expected the child to be named after his father, Zechariah. When Elizabeth intervened and stated that the child’s name would be John, her proposal was met with objection. They appealed to Zechariah. His affirmation that “His name is John” evokes surprise and a sense of wonder.
In the Scriptures, the naming of a person signifies his or her unique role and contribution to God’s plan of salvation. By disassociating John’s name from his family history, the Gospel writer draws our attention to the divine source of John’s name. John, who was conceived by divine intervention, was named by divine mandate. In other words, John’s name was personally chosen by God. And by stating the naming of John, we are led to reflect on John’s personal significance in history. As Paul points out in the second reading, with John the Baptist, the mission of Jesus begins.
Perhaps, today is a good time to reflect on your own name, as well as on the role and contribution you are making to God’s salvific plan. Remember, your birth was no accident or an insignificant event in God’s eyes. God brought you into the world for a purpose, and you have a responsibility to discover and fulfill it to the best of your ability.
Lord, help me discover my unique place and role in history.