(Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist)

Scripture Reading: John 1:23

Welcome to the liturgy recalling to mind of the birth of John the Baptist. Whenever in obedience to Hebrews 13:7 (which says “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith”) we remember our Christian brothers and sisters who have gone before, we do that in order to reflect on their life and imitate their faith. Today the church calls us to reflect on the birth of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a man of the desert known for his boldness and deep humility. Fr. Thomas Rosica, highlighted that there is no Gospel that begins the story of Jesus’ public ministry without first telling the reader about the life and mission of John the Baptist. His role in salvation history and in announcing the coming of the Messiah was divinely arranged and John gave his consent to that divine arrangement. John the Baptist was a man trained and prepared in the wilderness. His long years in the desert before his appearance as a preacher and teacher accounts for the many possibilities in his ministry. It was in the desert that he learnt to be attentive to the voice of God. It must be the same for all who would follow Jesus. Each and every ministry and service in the Kingdom of God that involves communication with others requires first a period of preparation in the wilderness and loneliness of our own human deserts. In these days of increasing noise and distractions, only in those moments of solitude can we be attentive to God’s word in our lives. Do we allow our deserts to speak to us and form us?
Dear friends, in these days where supposedly ministers of God are strategically advertising themselves, today’s feast reminds us that, John led his own disciples to Jesus and indicated to them the Messiah, the True Light, and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.John said, “[Christ] must increase. I must decrease” (John 3:30).We must have that same attitude as we seek to follow Jesus. The repentance John preached was a turning away from sin and selfishness and a turning of our whole hearts to the Father. We must decrease so that like John we can grow strong in the Spirit, until Christ is made manifest in each of us. Despite John’s fame, he remained humble; we must learn from John that holiness is not possible without humility and true repentance.

MASS: WHITE Is 49:1-6; Ps 139:1-3. 13-14. 15 (R. 14a) Acts 13:22-26; Accl. Lk 1:76; Lk 1:57-66.80 BIRTH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

Prayer Points:
1. Thank God for his Word today
2. Ask God for mercy as you pray the “Act of Contrition”
3. Take this prayer “Lord Jesus, I invite you into my heart anew today, and I ask forgiveness for all of my sin. Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins and for forgiving me of them through your shed blood for me on the cross. Please take away all the sinful “old things” in my heart that defile me, especially ___ (mention the sins) and replace them with the “good things” that you desire to grow in to my life. Please wash away all the sinful crude and tendencies towards evil and replace them with a hunger and thirst for your righteousness. I need your help, Lord God, in living this new life in Christ. Please send your Holy Spirit afresh into my life to help me, heal me, lead me and transform me. In Jesus Christ, Amen.
4. Tell God to help you to be faithful to God’s will and plans concerning every area of your life
5. Pray that you will not mislead people or through your words/actions drive people away from Jesus
6. Pray for the grace to be truly humble in all things

Exercise: Like John the Baptist find a quiet place and meditate on John3:30

Meditation: John 1:27