23/24 June 2018

The Nativity of St John The Baptist

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26

Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80



Since June 24 falls on a Sunday this year, the Church has the opportunity for a more intense celebration of the birth of John the Baptist, who is often described as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the bridge between Judaism and Christianity. More commonly, John is known as the “precursor” of our Lord Jesus Christ. All the Gospels report John’s basic message: Repent, the kingdom is near at hand. One greater than I is coming.

Though he was a wandering preacher who dressed in camel skins and ate grasshoppers, John’s legacy is one of true royalty. His origins are similar to those foretold by God through the prophet Isaiah: “You are my servant, he said to me, Israel through whom I show my glory” (Isaiah 49:3). John’s humility—“I am not he”—was surpassed only by that of his Lord Jesus, the humble servant who followed.

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