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S t. John the Baptist

Happy Holy Day! Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. There are only three nativities we commemorate in the Church. The next one will be September 8th, for the Birth of Mary. For Saint John the Baptist, in the words of Fr. Mark Hollis, “we pull out all the stops.” Mass today includes the Gloria, a second reading, and the Profession of Faith. So today, liturgically, Saint John the Baptist is born among us and the Archangel Gabriel tells us to rejoice. We read in Luke 1:13-14:

“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”

We’ve been celebrating the Nativity of John the Baptist for a very long time. You will notice that the date is set six months before Christmas Eve. Saint Luke tells us that Saint Gabriel announced the conception of Jesus six months after announcing the conception of Saint John the Baptist. We hear in Luke 1, verse 36: “And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren.”

So as we commemorate Saint John the Baptist’s birth we are alerted that we have six months left to get our Christmas shopping done! Along with that, we recall what a mighty prophet Saint John the Baptist became. This may lead us to recall that he announced Christ’s coming, pointed out Christ to those who didn’t know or recognize him, and explained the meaning of Christ’s identity and mission to those who didn’t understand. Saint John the Baptist’s mission is also our mission. We do that by word and example. All that we are and all that we do, can be in a sense, a pointing toward our Lord. This may lead others to accept Jesus' invitation to a more abundant life. So enjoy this holy day. God bless and stay safe!

In Christ,

Fr. Steve Breck
Pastor, St. Mary Magdalene