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.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist ~ 24 June 2016


In this solemnity, we celebrate the Nativity, the birth, of St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist was a unique man. He is rightly called the last of the Old Testament prophets. He is the last one to preach the Gospel before the Saviour came. John is also the first of the New Testament preachers. His calling was to point out Christ for the world and to identify, for the people, the man who is God in the Flesh, Jesus, the Son of God, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John came into this world for this purpose: to point to Christ. To call God's people away from their sins in repentance and to faith in the One to whom he pointed. John baptised in the Jordan River for the forgiveness of sins and to bring sinners to faith in Christ, the Son of God. John wasn't there to bring attention to himself but to Christ. His finger was aimed always at Jesus: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The feasts of saints are usually celebrated on the day of their death, which is their birth into eternal life. In the calendar of the Catholic Church, there are only three feasts of birthdays: Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ), September 8 (the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and June 24 (the birth of St. John the Baptist). All other saints were stained with original sin at birth, preventing a liturgical celebration of their birth. St. John the Baptist was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother, jumping for joy at the greeting of Mary to Elizabeth during her visitation (the second Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary)..This clearly illustrates the great importance and vital role of John the Baptist in God’s plan of salvation. Jesus affirms this when he praised him: “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John” (Luke 7:28). St John the Baptist is patron saint of interior change, of conversion. His message can be summed up in his own statement, “I must decrease, but he (Christ) must increase.” God invites us all to holiness and greatness.. Like St. John the Baptist, let us become the voice in this modern wilderness proclaiming the message of conversion and hope: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near!”

"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honoured. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace." ~ Saint Augustine

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.”


Alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia.
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
Alleluia, alleluia.


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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