Monday, 24 June 2019 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 57-66, 80

When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her, and they rejoiced with her. When, on the eighth day, they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father.

But his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name!” and they made signs to his father for the name he wanted to give him. Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, and wrote on it, “His name is John;” and they were very surprised. Immediately, Zechariah could speak again, and his first words were in praise of God.

A holy fear came on all in the neighbourhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea and the people talked about these events. All who heard of it, pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?” For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.

As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; and he lived in the desert, until the day when he appeared openly in Israel.

Saturday, 24 June 2017 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the solemnity of the nativity or the birth of one of the greatest of the saints, which the Lord Himself had mentioned to be among the greatest of the sons and daughters of man. St. John the Baptist was the relative of the Lord, for he was the son of Elizabeth, a relative of Mary, the Mother of God.

But more importantly, St. John the Baptist was the one who would announce to the world, the coming of the Messiah of God, the one who became the Herald to announce and proclaim the Messiah to mankind, and the one who would prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. And that was why, his conception in the womb of Elizabeth, his mother, was nothing less than a miracle, by the will of God that his old mother was able to conceive a child, St. John the Baptist, God’s great and faithful servant.

St. John the Baptist devoted his whole life to the Lord, fulfilling the calling which he had been given, to be the one to prepare the coming of the Lord to His people. He went about preaching repentance and penitence to the people, and called them to be baptised and be forgiven from their sins. Many people flocked to him and listened to his teachings, and through all of these, many became prepared in their hearts and minds to welcome the Lord Jesus when He came.

He was the one who baptised Jesus our Lord, which marked the moment when His earthly ministry began, heralding the start of the works of God’s mercy. And even then, he continued on to preach and to baptise people, calling them to repentance and to be ready for the Lord and His ways. Thus, today, as we rejoice and celebrate the moment of the nativity or the birth of St. John the Baptist, we also rejoice because of his life and all of his works and devotions.

St. John the Baptist, as one of the greatest saints of God is our great role model, as his exemplary life and activities should become examples for all of us to follow. He was not just devoted and committed to his mission, in preparing the way for the Lord and His works, but all the more, he was committed to the point of even being ready to face suffering and martyrdom in the face of opposition from the world. He faced king Herod and rebuked him, and was imprisoned as a result, and later he was martyred.

And then, we should also follow his examples, in how he laid down his life’s work and yielded himself to the Lord completely and thoroughly. When his disciples complained to him that Jesus was becoming more famous and popular than him, he welcomed it readily and mentioned that, while the Lord continued to rise, he himself must decrease. This is a very important example for us to follow, in being humble and dedicated to our mission as the disciples and followers of the Lord.

St. John the Baptist gave his all to serve the Lord, with all of his heart, mind and soul. He showed us all the example of how we ought to be acting as faithful servants of God. Let us all now ask ourselves, brothers and sisters in Christ, whether we have shown our faith in the same or similar manner as St. John the Baptist had devoted his life for the sake of the Lord?

Have we as Christians been truly devoted to the Lord in all of His ways? Have we walked in His path? Let us all think about this, and reflect sincerely on our life’s actions, and think of how we can devote ourselves better to the Lord. Let us follow the examples of St. John the Baptist, and realise that we are needed to do the same tasks and missions which the Lord had entrusted to St. John the Baptist and to all of His Apostles and disciples.

May the Lord bless us and continue to guide us in our path. And may He empower all of us to become ever better and more devoted disciples of His, in the same manner as St. John the Baptist had lived his life. May God be with us always, now and forever. Amen.

Saturday, 24 June 2017 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Luke 1 : 57-66, 80

When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her, and they rejoiced with her. When, on the eighth day, they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father.

But his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name!” and they made signs to his father for the name he wanted to give him. Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, and wrote on it, “His name is John;” and they were very surprised. Immediately, Zechariah could speak again, and his first words were in praise of God.

A holy fear came on all in the neighbourhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea and the people talked about these events. All who heard of it, pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?” For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.

As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; and he lived in the desert, until the day when he appeared openly in Israel.

Saturday, 24 June 2017 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 13 : 22-26

After that time, God removed Saul and raised up David as king, to whom He bore witness saying : I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all I want him to do.

It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised Saviour of Israel, Jesus. Before He appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel. As John was ending his life’s work, he said : ‘I am not what you think I am, for, after me, another One is coming, Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.’

Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you, also, who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent.

Saturday, 24 June 2017 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 138 : 1-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

O YHVH, You know me : You have scrutinised me. You know when I sit and when I rise; beforehand, You discern my thoughts. You observe my activities and times of rest; You are familiar with all my ways.

It was You Who formed my inmost part and knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank You for these wonders You have done, and my heart praises You.

For Your marvellous deeds. Even my bones were known to You when I was being formed in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth.

Saturday, 24 June 2017 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Isaiah 49 : 1-6

Listen to me, o islands, pay attention, people from distant lands. YHVH called me from my mother’s womb; He pronounced my name before I was born. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword. He hid me in the shadow of His hand. He made me into a polished arrow set apart in His quiver.

He said to me, “You are Israel, My servant. Through you I will be known.” “I have laboured in vain,” I thought, “and spent my strength for nothing.” Yet what is due me was in the hand of YHVH, and my reward was with my God. I am important in the sight of YHVH, and my God is my Strength.

And now YHVH has spoken, He Who formed me in the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, to gather Israel to Him. He said : “It is not enough that you be My servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the remnant of Israel. I will make you the light of the nations, that My salvation will reach to the ends of the earth.”

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 : Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 1 : 57-66, 80

When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her, and they rejoiced with her. When, on the eighth day, they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.”

They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name!” and they asked the father, by means of signs, for the name he wanted to give him. Zechariah asked for a writing tablet, and wrote on it, “His name is John,” and they were very surprised. Immediately Zechariah could speak again, and his first words were in praise of God.

A holy fear came on all in the neighbourhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?” For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.

As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; and he lived in the desert until the day when he appeared openly in Israel.