Friday, June 23, 2006
Solemnity, Birth of John the Baptist
June 24, 2006
Solemnity, Birth of John the Baptist
Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me
from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a
sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me
a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said
to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had
toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my
reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD
has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may
be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; and I am made
glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is
too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes
of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light
to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
In those days, Paul said: "God raised up David as king; of him God
testified, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish. From this man's descendants God,
according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John
heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the
people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say,
'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming
after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.' "My
brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who
are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent."
LUKE 1:57-66, 80
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to
a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his
great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on
the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him
Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, "No. He will
be called John." But they answered her, "There is no one among your
relatives who has this name." So they made signs, asking his father
what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John
is his name," and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened,
his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all
their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the
hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart,
saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the
Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he
was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
John's conception and birth coincided with mysterious happenings. An
angel foretold his conception to his father, Zechariah. His parents
were already beyond their fertile years when he was conceived. From the
day his conception was foretold, Zechariah was struck mute. His speech
was restored to him only when he and his wife insisted that the child's
name was to be John, even though his relatives insisted otherwise. "Who
will this child be?" the people round about asked in wonder and awe.
This child will be lauded by his cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, as "the
greatest born of woman." He will be, as Jesus will put it, Elijah
returned to earth again to herald the coming of the Lord. He will be a
man of principle, who will direct his own disciples away from himself
to another Master, whom he will recognize as a greater than himself; a
man of principle who in the end will refuse to compromise the truth,
though it will earn him the enmity of Herodias, the king's wife, and
deliver him to martyrdom.
John will later send his disciples to ask Jesus, "Are you really the
one who is to come, the one I was to point out to the people?" Doubts
will assault him because Jesus will not be the type of Messiah he's
expecting him to be. Jesus will not condemn sinners, will not threaten
them with dire sufferings. Instead he will eat and drink with them and
defend them against the religious leaders of Israel. In the end John
will be in anguish, "Have I failed in my mission, is my life now
unfulfilled, without meaning, did I point to the wrong man when I
pointed to Jesus?"
These doubts will assault John in Herod's dungeon. Knowing the proud
and vengeful character of Herodias and the proud but weak character of
Herod, he will be anxious also for his life.
John has been canonized by the Christian people. He rose above the
desolation that burdened him at the end. He is a saint Christians can
turn to when anxiety and anguish burden their own lives.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the continued recovery of Aida.
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the personal intentions of Fely B.
- for the continued and complete recovery of Ding Vidanes.
- Birthday: Gwen M. Bernal
- for the speedy recovery of John Eugenio & Louie Donato.
- for the speedy recovery of Tito Cale
- for the personal intentions of PDM and family.
- for all the pray: er intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Cresencio Tan Jao
- Birthday: Oscar & Devorah Tan Abing
- Wedding Anniversary: Felix & Mely Ang
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Wendy Peters & Matilda
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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