The purpose of these festivals is not to celebrate the exact dates of these events, but simply to commemorate them … The silence of Zechariah is what St. John of the Cross writes about:  “What we need most in order to make [spiritual] progress is to be silent before this great God, with our appetites and our tongue.”, This silence is a means to man’s true end. Responsorial Psalm: Ps. He not only baptized Jesus, but pointed Him out to his own disciples. © 2015-2020The header for RSL was designed by Kellee Kruse. One set is proclaimed at Vigil Masses on the evening before the feast day, while the other set is proclaimed on the day itself. In the words of Paul: “Before John ended his career he said, ‘I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.’”, The gospel reading illustrates the birth and naming ceremony of the child. The prophets were God’s messengers. Mt. Thus, since John the Baptist was the first who preached repentance; therefore, rightly from that day forward it may be said, that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. John is often called the last of the Old Testament Prophets. A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. The man persists in unbelief, while the woman believes. Today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the birth (nativity) of St. John the Baptist sheds a light on this significance, viz: John the Baptist was known as the forerunner of Christ. St. Luke the Evangelist here contrasts Zechariah with the Blessed Virgin Mary. ___________________________________. But if the voice must decrease, so that the Word may increase, what can be said of Zechariah? Here, we talk about the availability of the Kingdom of heaven for all, but the onus lies in the hands of each person to radically take it, seize it, lay hold of it (that is the violence)! With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to reconcile fathers to their children and the disobedient to the good sense of the upright, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.’, That an explicit reference was made to St. John the Baptist in the second reading shows the importance and significance of John the Baptist in the early Christian community, regarding his life of humility and service to Christ. St. John the Baptist was born so that the Old Testament might die. It is the inheritance of every single person. While Zachariah, his father regained the gift of speech as he named his child, all those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. Only the violent one will take it by force. Isaiah 49:1-6  +  Acts 13:22-26  +  Luke 1:57-66,80 In response to Zechariah’s unbelief, St. Gabriel declares in a verse not long after the end of the Gospel passage for the Vigil Mass:  “behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass” [Lk 1:20]. Hmmm, this is really deep… “For great is the violence, when we who are born of this world, seek a place in heaven and obtain by righteousness what we have not by nature” May we find strength in God’s words and focus on Christ the Way to heaven, amen, Chinaka Mbaeri's Reflections Copyright © 2020. We are all invited to reflect and bear witness to that Light of Christ in bringing about true conversion to the world and a radical possession of the Kingdom of heaven: “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12). The Gospel passage for the feast day itself comes from the end of the chapter. The Messiah comes to save us from the powers of darkness and death, and to put us back on the path of peace and reconciliation so that we might find our way back to God. We are among those of whom the Beloved Disciple writes in the prologue to his Gospel account:  “the Word came to His own, and His own people received Him not” [John 1:11]. Dearest friends in Christ, in a postmodern society where it seems that the light of Christ is dimmed; we are called to contemplate upon the person of John the Baptist who prepared the way for the Lord and bore witness to that one true Light – our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Wonderful Write-up. One set is proclaimed at Vigil Masses on the evening before the feast … These two passages bookend the story of St. John’s birth. Everyone knows that we celebrate Jesus’s birth at Christmas, but we also celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birth on September the 8th every year too. In Advent 2 Year C (2007) the Gospel reading concludes "and all … The archangel announces to each that a son is to be born. But with the birth of John the Baptist, it became pertinent for everyone to know that as old as she was, she was no longer cursed, but a woman blessed and miraculously favoured by God who can do all things. Today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the birth (nativity) of St. John the Baptist sheds a light on this significance, viz: John the Baptist was known as the forerunner of Christ. In the renewed Church Year and lectionary, John the Baptiser is a central figure in the second and third Sundays in Advent. Therefore, his birth was indeed very significant, for it contributed to our salvation history. Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil Shalom! b) St. John the Baptist … The Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24 comes three months after the celebration on March 25 of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy, and six months before theChristmas celebration of the birth of Jesus. This ‘wonder’ of the being of John the Baptist can be said to be a reflection of the Psalmist’s expression in today’s reading: “I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation.”. Mary was a young betrothed virgin. This is the end for which God created man “in the beginning”:  to share in the divine life of the Trinity in a holy and eternal silence. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to reconcile fathers to their children and the disobedient to the good sense of the upright, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him” (Lk. St. John the Baptist was born to preach the message of repentance:  the need to accept ourselves as sinner, and the need to accept Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins and those of the whole world. For this reason, the Church in her wisdom and guided by the Holy Spirit celebrates his birth on June 24, just six months before the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Zechariah was an elderly husband, yet without children. In the Gospel passages for today’s feast, the central actor is John’s father, Zechariah. SUNDAY HOMILY/REFLECTION: SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS, SUNDAY BIBLE CHALLENGE – QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: 26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A, REFLEXÃO/HOMILIA DO DIA: TERÇA-FEIRA DA 25ª SEMANA DO TEMPO COMUM, ANO II. This is a clear indication of the great importance and vital role of St. John the Baptist in the economy of salvation. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ Jn. For great is the violence, when we who are born of this world, seek a place in heaven and obtain by righteousness what we have not by nature. He was a model of selflessness and humility and said, “Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet” (Acts 13:25). And now the Lord has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him: ‘It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’” This prophecy can be said to allegorically mirror the call and mission of John the Baptist before he was formed in his mother’s womb; and as stated earlier, ‘he will bring back many of the Israelites to the Lord their God.