Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist ~ 24 June 2014

“Among those born of women no one is greater than John” 
~ * ~ Luke 7:28 ~ * ~


In the Gospel of Luke, it is known that John the Baptist was born in a town of Judea six months before the birth of Jesus our Lord and Saviour, his cousin. Only our Lord Jesus, Mary, our Blessed mother of God and John the Baptist are recognized by the Church’s liturgy as having been born freed from original sin, holy and filled with the Spirit of God. How blessed is St. John the Baptist was to receive this gift being forgiven of original sin when still in the womb as our Lord Jesus and Mary, our Blessed mother of God also did. Our Lord Jesus, Mary, our Blessed mother of God and John the Baptist all were free from original sins but their birth's were different. 
  • Jesus Christ was free of original sin without having needed to be redeemed.
  • Mary was freed from original sin by a unique redemptive grace of preservation.
  • John the Baptist was forgiven original sin when still in the womb.
As when Mary visitation to Elizabeth, "Elizabeth was six months pregnant when the Blessed Virgin Mary, who had already conceived the Saviour, came to salute her. And when she heard the salutation of Mary, Saint John, already filled with the Holy Spirit, and being aware of the approach of the Son of God, leaped for joy in his mother's womb."

John the Baptist is known as the Precursor or Forerunner of the Lord, his mission of preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ. He was called to tell people to repent for their sins and to be baptised. He said to the people to “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Luke 3: 4) and also “I am baptising you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs on his sandals. He will baptise you with the holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16). And when Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptised, the heavens opened at that moment and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. Then there was a voice, the voice of God the Father, saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3: 21-22). 
John (which means God is gracious) a God-given name, a God-given identity and it represents the calling in life for his mission by God. God himself gave John that name and it was revealed to his father Zachary in a vision (Luke 1:13). That this name was given to the child already before his birth shows that God has a purpose and plan for the child. John the Baptist, the holy precursor of Jesus Christ was endowed with nine singular privileges and the the Lord declared him a prophet.
  1. His birth was announced by the same angel who announced the birth of Christ.
  2. He leaped in the womb of his mother.
  3. He was lifted from the ground by the Mother of God.
  4. At his birth he loosed his father's tongue.
  5. He originated baptism.
  6. He proclaimed the mission of Christ.
  7. He baptised Christ.
  8. He was honoured by being praised above all others by Christ.
  9. He announced the coming of Christ to the souls in Limbo (souls awaiting redemption by Christ eg. non-baptised death infants may go to heaven).
The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is the only exempt beside our Lord Jesus and Mary, the mother of God whose birthdays celebrated by the Catholic Church.

As long before written in Isaiah 49:1,5 "Before I was born the Lord called me from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name..... he who formed me in the womb to be his servant.... for I am honoured in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength" as what also happen to John. Therefore like John, God already has a purpose for us His children before we come into this world, and so the challenge of life is for us to discover this purpose and to be faithful to its demands. God’s free grace, his giving nature and the gifts he bestows, giving us the forgiveness of sins, giving us his own Son so that we would not perish but have eternal life, these gifts we sinners do not deserve, yet God gives us, because he is gracious.

REPENT and Remember 
God is ALWAYS GOOD and GRACIOUS. 
Amen.

* * * * * *

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, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Reading 1
Isaiah 49:1-6
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.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading 2
Acts 13:22-26
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.”


Gospel 
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.

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