Tuesday 24th June – Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist
Reflection: Acts 13: 22-26
A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART
Today, we celebrate a great saint, the herald of Christ. What makes this man significant? Was it just about his miraculous birth, his ministry or what?
Let’s examine his life a little. John appeared in Israel after over 400 years since the last prophet or prophesies in Israel. During this time, the expectations of the people were greatly dampened. Suddenly, John showed up, born through a somewhat unusual process by “too-old-to-be-parents” kind of parents, and then, the boy himself was somehow unusual too – living in the desert, and surviving only on wild honey. Somehow, the whole of this took a funny twist when John showed up at the Jordan- not to bath his desert dirty body, but to baptize people and clean up their souls!!! Suddenly, the expectations were aroused for the Messiah. This is where the whole drama begins.
The people of his days had never seen a prophet, nor heard prophesies in their own time, they only had memories of what they had been taught about the prophets of old…Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc. So, if John had told them that He was a prophet or even more, the Christ, they would have believed him headlong. But, NO, John would not even claim the title of a prophet for himself, not to even mention him being the Christ. Rather he set himself aside and proclaimed Jesus as The messiah, the expected Lamb of God John is a man who could have stolen glory (at least for a while), but he did not. He chose the honorable path – to herald the Christ. In short, he chose to be the man after the call and heart of God.
This too, today is our call, to set ourselves aside, and let the world see Christ. We celebrate John, for his humility, his duty and his martyrdom. Let him be our role model, in proclaiming the truth (even when it hurts our pride and ego), to show Christ to the world at whatever cost, and by all means, to strive to be the man after the heart of God.
Prayer: Lord, let me decrease, while you increase, until there is none of me left, but you living in and through me. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2683 – The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their master, they were “put in charge of many things”. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.
HIDE A TREASURE: “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh cannot help. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” John 6: 63 CCB
Readings for today: Isaiah 49: 1-6; Psalm 138: 1-3, 13-15, Acts 13: 22-26;Luke 1: 57 -66, 80