THE BIRTH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST (MASS OF THE DAY)
Acts of the Apostles 13:22-26;
Luke 1:57-66, 80
Even before we were born God named us. God’s voice has enlivened us by the sound of our name. In our mother’s womb we are fashioned and formed in the likeness of God. We are born in the likeness of our parents and generations that have gone before us.
In the shadow of God’s hand we are born into the world. We are loved and cherished as we are placed in the waiting arms of our parents. Family and neighbours gather to celebrate that new life has come into the world.
‘He shall be called John’ his mother Elizabeth declares, ‘but there is no one in your family who has that name’ they reply. He shall be called John; writes his father. Immediately Zachariah begins to speak and praise God.
A name that is new, a break from the past gives rise to wonder and expectation on the part of the listeners. Astonishment, agitation, suspicion are also part of the mix. ‘What will this child turn out to be’ they wondered. And the hand of God was with him.
With joy in our hearts we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. With joy in our hearts we celebrate a new vision of God that has been given to the world because of our birth. Joyfully we walk the road John has prepared for us to come to know our Redeemer.
Fr Peter Addicoat CP is parish priest and community leader of our St Joseph’s parish/community in Hobart Tasmania.