Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our God loves us, and He loves all of us so much that He is willing to save all of us from the damnation of hell. He sent us His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour, the One who redeemed us from the sins of our forefathers, from their rebellion against the love of God. Through Him we are saved, if we accept Him as our Lord, and His free offer of salvation to all of us.
To prepare for the Messiah, the Lord sent His messenger, in the person of John the Baptist, the precursor and the preparer of the way for Christ. His dedication to the mission for which he had been chosen for, and his tireless work had indeed straightened the way for Christ and paved the way for salvation.
Today we celebrate the feast of this great messenger of God and saint, John the Baptist, whose baptisms called the people back towards the Lord through repentance. Repentance allowed the people to set their hearts and minds right, so that they would be in the correct state of heart and mind to be receptive of the Lord and His message that is brought by none other than Christ, His Son and our Saviour.
St. John the Baptist had dedicated his whole life to the Lord, as someone set aside for the works of God, through whose hands God had worked His wonders to the people of Israel, the last of the prophets before the coming of the Messiah, who would eventually liberate God’s people from the tyranny of evil, sin, and therefore death.
God is faithful, and He remembered His covenant that He made with Abraham years ago, with the promise He had made that the descendants of Abraham, all of us, will be fruitful, and will be blessed. Even when the descendants of Abraham, as shown through Israel did not stay faithful entirely to the Lord, but fell into rebellion, in the similar way as their forefathers, God did not give up on us, just as He did not give up on mankind after the disobedience of Adam and Eve, our first ancestors.
We are all precious to God, so precious that despite the covenant broken by our rebellion and our stubbornness against God’s love and compassion, He was willing to forge a new covenant with all of us, and this covenant will never be broken, because this covenant is not made just by God’s words alone, but sealed with none other than the Most Precious Blood of the Lamb of God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who shed His blood from up there on the cross, flowing from His holy wounds, pierced by our sins and our rebellion.
St. John the Baptist had a great part to play in this plan of salvation, not only as the one who helped to bring God’s mission to perfection, and helped to convert many to the cause of the Lord through repentance, but also through his direct role in the initiation of Jesus’ ministry on this world. Through his baptism of Christ on the Jordan, he initiated Christ on His ministry, which began after that baptism, when the Lord proclaimed to the world, that Jesus is indeed His Son, and that His favour is on Him.
His humility that he showed when he declared the identity of Christ to his own disciples, so that He would increase while John himself would decrease in importance is an example for all of us, that whenever we do things, let us remember that we should do it for the greater glory of God, and not to our own personal human glory, and seek the praise of the Lord, and not the praise of man.
We can follow the many examples of Saint John the Baptist, my dear brothers and sisters, that we should emulate him in our lives. To love and serve the Lord with all our hearts, with all our minds, and with all our being, that we truly become the children of God, and people beloved by the Lord our God. May the Lord guide us at all times in our lives, that we will not be led astray in our path towards Him. God bless us all. Amen.