The Nativity of John the Baptist ~ Br. Michael Marshall, Novice
Prepare ye, the way of the Lord
Prepare ye, the way of the Lord”
This is a song from the musical Godspell, which is John the Baptist foretelling the birth of Jesus. Some people thought John was the One, yet he knew he was not. The story of John’s birth is accounted for in all of the Gospels yet in today’s readings we read the story according to Luke:
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel. (1:55-67, 80)
We can see a foretelling of John, even though John is not specifically stated in the first reading from Isaiah (49:1-6), so this is definitely a very important part of history for humanity. What we need to keep in mind is that if there had not been John the Baptist, there would have been no foretelling of Jesus coming to this world. This all is rather obvious for us. But how does this really apply to us today other than understanding the Scripture?
John was a herald, a messenger in his own way; trying to help others understand who was to come. We as Christians today are called to do the same thing, yet help others understand that Jesus will return. As much as some folks try to use a fear tactic of damnation to bring others to Christ, that really isn’t our purpose. Our purpose is to show love, the love of Christ through our actions and faith. We are to be heralds and messengers, and share the Good News!
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