Grace to you!
We love to celebrate birthdays, don't we? Dad's birthday, mom's birthday and….
Birthday moments remind us of how precious the birth of a particular person is to us. It’s equally a day to celebrate the unique place of a particular person in our life. The more special a person is to us, the more special we feel about his or her birthday.
The birthday of John the Baptist, a celebration that began in the 4th Century AD, is a reminder that about six months later, the Savior of the world, Our Lord Jesus Christ will be born. Count down to the eve of December 25, when we celebrate the birthday of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you see it’s exactly six months. Hence, the wisdom of the Church is evident in selecting June 25 as the date for this feast.
Similarly, June 25 is exactly three months after the celebration of the Annunciation (March 25), when Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary God’s plan that she will be the Mother of the Lord.
Celebrating the birthday of saints like John the Baptist is a rich spiritual blessing for the Church on earth. We are in communion with the saints in heaven.
For those expectant of a particular grace of God or a particular favor from God, you have a wonderful day to connect with the spirit of the Lord's forerunner who knows how best expectant grace works.
John the Baptist’s mission was to prepare the way of the Lord: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mk 1:3).
He too is a special forerunner of Christ in the communion of saints as we continue to grow and mature in the grace of Christ. I believe that the unique role of Saint John the Baptist is relevant to us who live as well. He will be a special friend to show us the ways of the Lord and those grace opportunities many pass by without recognizing the Lamb of God in our midst.
Devotion to Saint John the Baptist is hardly practiced. Yet, I suspect, he who was the forerunner of Jesus on earth, who the Lord said, "Of all born of a woman, none is greater than John," (Mt 11:11) could also be a great companion as we expect, or should I say, as we welcome Christ into our lives and our particular circumstances of need.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist: Is 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Lk1:57-66;80]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.