The Birthday of John the Baptist
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.