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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

The Birth of John the Baptist
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK

Ish 49:1-6, Acts 13:22-26, Lk. 1:57-66.80. John the Baptist is the only saint after Jesus whose birth is celebrated in the Scripture. We celebrate his birth six months before the birth of Jesus on December 25th. Recalling the birth of Jesus at Christmas coincides with the winter solstice. The birthday of John the Baptist is symbolic, for as the light of the sun begins to decrease after reaching its peak, we celebrate the birth of the one who said of Jesus: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The joyful importance of the birthday of John can be linked to the meaning of his name in Hebrew: “Yeho-hanan,” means “the Lord is gracious” and as today’s Gospel underlines, in sending John the Baptist, God had shown great favour, not just to the childless couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, but to the whole of humanity.

John is the link between the Old and New Testaments. Zachariah is struck dumb and loses his voice, until John, the forerunner of Jesus, is born and releases his voice. The releasing of the voice of Zachariah at the birth of John has the same significance as the tearing of the veil of the Temple at the crucifixion of Christ. The tongue is released because a voice is being born: "I am the voice of one crying in the desert". John is the voice, but the Lord in the beginning was the Word. John is a voice for a time, but Christ is the eternal Word from the beginning. As John the Baptist pointed the right way for his people, we are called to point out the graciousness and the favour of God to others. John the Baptist has something to teach us, on how to follow our God-given calling. He was a quiet man, the desert and a man of prayer. We need to find our desert place of prayer if we are to remain true to our calling to lead others to the Lord, if we are to turn out as God wants us to.

May the Lord empower us to live faithfully according to His will and to fulfil our mission as faithfully as John did! Amen!! Remain safe and have a gracious day!!!

 
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