The Birthday of John the Baptist

Published on 18 Jun 2018
Detail of the Ghent altarpiece depicting John the Baptist by Jan van Eyck

Testify to the light

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist

to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,

give your people, we pray, the grace of spiritual joys

and direct the hearts of all the faithful

into the way of salvation and peace.

John the Baptist is the only saint whose birthday is observed by the Church. Today, in the Gospel, we celebrate that birth and the joy it brought.

We also remember John’s identity and mission as he is named – just as God calls each one of us by name even before we are born, and invites us to respond to his call.

As a forerunner of the Lord, John was not given his father’s name, but that given by the angel – even before his birth he was chosen to be a bearer of light to the nations (First Reading).

The Psalm affirms that I, too, am chosen to go out testifying to the light.

I am moulded and fashioned for this purpose.

I can trust the Lord. It is his promise and his work in me (Second Reading). God will choose people after his own heart to bring the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Let us pray this coming week that we, too, might live according to the gift of salvation, asking the Lord for strength to be faithful to the name by which he has called us, as we try to spread light to others.

I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.     First Reading

The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.   First Reading

I thank you for the wonder of my being.   Psalm

This message of salvation is meant for you.    Second Reading

All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts.    Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further:

Isaiah 49: 1–6; Psalm 138 (139); Acts 13: 22–26; Luke 1: 57–66, 80