The Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

St. John the Baptist, of course, was the cousin and forerunner of Jesus. He announced the coming of the Messiah and identified Jesus as the Lamb of God Who came to take away the sins of the world. Among Jesus’ Apostles were those who had been disciples of St. John. They were drawn to John’s message of repentance.

John the Baptist was a controversial figure. Eccentric in his diet and clothing of locusts and camel hair, and unwavering in his denunciation of those who would replace one’s devotion to the God of Israel with a rigid following of traditions and religious expectations, John called all to turn away from their sins and be baptized in the waters of the River Jordan. Finally, Jesus approached. Realizing Who stood before him asking to be baptized, John asked that Jesus baptize him. But, Jesus knew His Father’s plan and knew what must be done to fulfill His mission. So, he asked John to baptize him, and his older cousin complied.

St. John the Baptist is the voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” Jesus is coming! Where will He arrive? In the heart of every believer. St. John is challenging us today to prepare the way of the Lord to enter into our hearts and transform out lives.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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