Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 139; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66, 80.
Today’s feast is placed three months after the Annunciation, on March 25, because Elizabeth, John’s mother, was six months pregnant. Three more months from March 25th take us to June 24. The one day discrepancy between March 25 and June 24 is an accident of counting. If December and June each had thirty-one days there would be no discrepancy (My Catholic Life). Eventually, Elizabeth and Zechariah were blessed with a son. The little boy grew to be a messenger of God as it was prophesied of him in the first reading. There are four basic lessons for us today as we celebrate this feast:
1.God does the impossible to fulfill His purpose: Zachariah and Elizabeth, parents of John, were both from the priestly family of Aaron and were advanced in years. Elizabeth was barren but had a miraculous birth. Beloved, delay in child bearing should not lead us into faithlessness. We have the examples of Hannah and her son Samuel and the wife of Manoah and her son Samson. They had delay but were not denied. What God cannot do does not exist.
2. John’s purpose was to prepare people for the coming of the Christ. John knew his purpose and he served in that capacity. What is your mission? Why were you born? Why are you still alive? Friends, let us not live without fulfilling our God-given mandate.
3. John’s message of preparation is still relevant today. We must learn to prepare for the second coming of Christ.
4. The birth of John the Baptist should deepen our love for unborn babies, they must be given the chance to grow, live, and become the great men and women God destined for them.
LET US PRAY
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.