June 24, 2015 WEDNESDAY, 12TH Week in Ordinary Time
NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
Vigil: Jer 1: 4 – 10 / 1 Pt 1: 8 –1 / Lk 1: 5 - 17
Day: Is 49: 1 – 6 / Acts 13: 22 - 26 / Lk 1: 57 - 66, 80
First Reading: Is 49: 1 – 6
Listen to me, O islands, pay attention, peoples from distant lands. Yahweh called me from my mother's womb; he pronounced my name before I was born. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a polished arrow set apart in his quiver. He said to me, "You are Israel, my servant, Through you I will be known." "I have labored in vain," I thought and spent my strength for nothing." Yet what is due me was in the hand of Yahweh, and my reward was with my God. I am important in the sight of Yahweh, and my God is my strength. And now Yahweh has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him. He said: "It is not enough that you be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the remnant of Israel. I will make you the light of the nations, that my salvation will reach to the ends of the earth."
Second Reading: Acts 13: 22 - 26
After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom he bore witness saying: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all I want him to do.
It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised savior of Israel, Jesus. Before he appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life's work, he said: 'I am not what you think I am, for after me another one is coming whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'
Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you also who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent.
Gospel: Lk 1: 57 – 66, 80
When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth of a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her and they rejoiced with her.
When on the eighth day they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." They said to her, "No one in your family has that name"; and they asked the father by means of signs for the name he wanted to give. Zechariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote on it, "His name is John," and they were very surprised. Immediately Zechariah could speak again and his first words were in praise of God.
A holy fear came on all in the neighborhood, and throughout the hills of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it pondered in their minds and wondered, "What will this child be?" For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.
As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; he lived in the desert till the day he appeared openly in Israel.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had wanted a child for a long time; they had prayed and longed for this one gift in their lives. Despite their prayers and perhaps tears, Elizabeth remained barren till her old age.
But in their old age, an angel of the Lord appears to Zechariah at the sanctuary of the Lord and informs him that his wife Elizabeth would "bear you a son and you shall name him John. He will bring joy and gladness to you and many will rejoice at his birth."
The name given by the angel has not been used in their family: the names meant "God is gracious" or "God had given us a favor." Indeed John's conception and birth were amazing signs of God's favor and graciousness.
The boy's birth to a barren mother advanced in age and his name given by an angel of the Lord pointed to things special and important: "This son of yours will be great on the eyes of the Lord." When the appointed time came, John would leave the desert and invite the people to repentance for their sins through baptism in the Jordan River and to prepare for the coming of Someone greater: "I baptize you with water, but the one who is coming will do much more: he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
John's birth already shows him as a testimony to God's loving kindness and mercy for his people. John is a herald, the precursor, bringing the good news that God does not forget us and provides for us. John was the messenger calling attention not to himself but to the Sender and the Message itself. John was a "pointer" to lead his own disciples and us to the Lord, "There is the Lamb of God."
All of us are also called to be "pointers," showing others the way to the Lord and leading others to know and experience him in their lives. As we celebrate this Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist, let us ask ourselves whether we have been "pointers" to God and his Son for others: Do we realize that our actions and lives truly affect others? Have our words and actions led others to experience God's goodness and loving mercy?
Lord, help us to always remember that our lives are not about ourselves alone. Our lives are for God and for others.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
IN MEMORIAM (+)
JUANA GALVEZ SANTOS-OCAMPO
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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