St John the Baptist, pray for us
NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST : Saturday 24th June 2023
Is. 49:1-6; Ps. 138:1-3,13-14ab,14c-15;
Acts 13:22-26; Lk. 1:57-66,80 (Psalter proper)
Most parents think that their children are special, but the parents of John the Baptist knew that he was super-special. There was the fact of Elizabeth’s barrenness, then the annunciation of the angel to Zechariah in the temple. He was also rendered mute until John’s birth because he had doubted the angel’s message.
But there was more than that – there were the prophecies, such as the passage from Isaiah. God knew the Suffering Servant before He was born – while He was still forming in His mother’s womb. His life was laid out before He even entered the world. Not only was He to return Israel to God, but He was also to become a light to the nations. That’s quite a job description! John would play an important part in the ministry of Jesus to all the peoples of the earth and also to the Gentiles.
There was a bittersweet part of his mission: once Jesus appeared on the scene, John’s mission was drawing to a close. He would fade from view and then meet his end as a martyr at the hands of Herod Antipas. There was no ego or self-seeking in him, for he seemed completely at peace with the supporting role that he was to play. His ministry was to prepare the way for someone else. If only we could be as selfless, ego-free, and eager to do the will of God. After all, each one of us also has a unique role to play.
Lord, my one desire is to do Your Will.