for Sunday, June 24, 2012
When this Solemnity of Saint John the Baptist falls on Sunday, it takes
precedence over the Sunday of Ordinary Time. Immediately we should
recognize that this solemnity is very important for the Church and should
have some importance for us.
Everything about Saint John the Baptist in the New Testament points us to
Jesus Christ. Saint John the Baptist is often portrayed in icons with his
finger pointing to Jesus. In this sense, John the Baptist is the perfect
patron for anyone who wants to be serious about living a Christian life.
Today's first reading, from the Prophet Isaiah, speaks about the calling
of Isaiah, but it is the same for every prophet. It is the same for you
and for me. God calls us and knows us from all eternity. With Saint John
the Baptist, God called him to a very special role that is so important
historically. Not all of us are called to that!
The reading from the Acts of the Apostles shows John the Baptist stating
the he, John the Baptist, is not the Messiah. Rather, he knows that there
is One coming who is mightier than he is. It is Jesus who is the Savior.
Again we see the role of John the Baptist to point to Jesus with his whole
Because we are celebrating the birth of John the Baptist today, the Gospel
is about the birth and naming of John. The people do not know that this
birth is for the sake of the Kingdom and that God has already spoken to
Elisabeth and to Zechariah. As usual, they would presume that the woman is
wrong. Instead, Zechariah states clearly: his name is John! This is the
name that Elizabeth had given, but they would not believe her.
We must learn to listen to God and to seek God's will. God has His own
ways of doing things. You and I are called to point to Jesus by our lives
and by our own witness that God's will is more important than our own. So
often we get caught up in doing what we want to do and never stop to ask
what God wants.
Elizabeth and Zechariah, of course, were given a special knowledge of
God's will. They were clearly seeking what God wanted. Zechariah had his
doubts and God made him mute until what God wanted had come to pass.
As we ask Saint John the Baptist to intercede for us today, we can ask him
to point us to the Christ, to help us see God's will and to give us the
courage to do God's will, not matter what it may cost us.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 49.1-6
Second Reading: Acts 13.22-26
Gospel: Luke 1.57-66, 80
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: