Birth of John the Baptist


Isaiah 49:1-6
Acts 13:22-26
Luke 1:57-66,80


Today’s readings herald a new era in God’s salvation story. As we celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist, we recognise John’s prominent role as the forerunner to the Messiah. John prepared Israel to receive their long-awaited Messiah by preaching repentance.

The first reading is the “Servant” messianic prophecy of Isaiah which is usually taken to refer to Jesus as the servant. But today it is used to express the important aspects of John’s career as a prophet to God’s people and as a light to the nations who was named and dedicated from his mother’s womb.

The second reading focuses on Paul describing the mission of John the Baptist as the herald for the Messiah. It clearly names that Jesus is the Saviour, descended from the house of Jesse as foretold by the prophets. Luke is highlighting the greatness of Jesus and the secondary role of John as the forerunner of the Messiah and the herald of God’s coming kingdom.

Luke’s gospel describes the birth of John the Baptist and his circumcision and naming ceremony on the eighth day. Elizabeth states clearly that her son was to be called John. This is confirmed in writing by Zechariah whose tongue is loosened, and he praises God.

There was wonder and awe at what had happened and what would become of the child. The question that the neighbours and relations ask of John, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ could be asked of any of us. It is a question that could be asked of us not just when we are infants but at every stage of our lives. ‘Who will we turn out to be?’

John the Baptist encourages and inspires us, to become the person God wants us to be. How are we responding to God’s call?

Joanne McGrath is a parishioner of St Brigid’s Marrickville and a Passionist Companion.

[dsm_facebook_feed fb_page_url="" fb_hide_cover="true" fb_small_header="true" fb_show_facepile="false" fb_width="462px" _builder_version="4.17.4" _module_preset="default" module_alignment="left" global_colors_info="{}"][/dsm_facebook_feed]
The Passionists of Holy Spirit Province
Australia, PNG, NZ and Vietnam

©Trustees of the Passionist Fathers
196 Livingstone Road, Marrickville, NSW 2204, Australia
PO Box 12, Marrickville, NSW 1475, Australia

Privacy Policy | Contact | website by servi

Acknowledgement of the Country

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our parishes, communities and offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.