Jun 23, 2018

With the exception of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist is the only saint whose birthday we celebrate. The importance of John’s nativity gave signal to the coming of the Messiah, Our Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was considered the last prophet before the coming of the Son of God. His birth came under “mysterious” circumstances – a barren wife who gave birth to a child in her old age. Neighbors asked, “What then, will this child be?” They asked this question because it was clear that God was with him.

John the Baptist whose name means “God is gracious,” consecrated his life to the Lord and became the precursor of the Messiah. He was the voice crying in the wilderness, “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand.” He prepared the way for the Lord and like the other prophets, he was given the opportunity to offer his ultimate act of obedience to the will of the Father by shedding his blood.

God chose John to prepare the way of the coming of the Savior and arrange everything for Him. His parents waited for his coming and they were filled with joy upon seeing him. He grew in righteousness “until the day of his manifestation to the people of Israel.” Like John, our existence in this world might be short but it will not be futile if we do the will of God, and if we do what is supposed to be God’s plan for us. Our mission is to be a witness to what is right and true, to bring joy to the world by living out the gospel values. John did not wish to become powerful, humbling himself before the Lord, he declared, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

To live is not to possess power, glory and riches, but to live life of joyful humility, simplicity, righteousness and love. We, Catholic Christians can be instruments of God’s graciousness by living out our prophetic ministry that we received in our baptism. Like John we should get out of the comfort of our homes and go forth to preach in the peripheries, to people journeying, through the desert and river, seeking God. God’s graciousness is experienced even in places where food is simple and rituals are not elaborate.

A HUMOR IN OUR MISSION FOR CHRIST: There was once a stained-glass window which depicted the ascending Christ with clouds and open heavens and angels. Below Jesus’ image were inscribed the words: “Glory to God in the Highest.” However, someone had thrown a stone and knocked out the “e” in the word “highest.” So, the sentence read, “Glory to God in the High st.” Message: Our mission as Christians takes place on High St. or on 40th St., 35th St., Macdonald St., Greenway Rd. and so on. Our mission is not only to gaze up into the sky but also to “look down.”

On the 25th, Monday, we start the 12th Week in Ordinary Time. The memorial of St. Irenaeus is on the 28th. The 29th, we celebrate the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul. Then we have the optional memorials of the First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church and on Saturday, the Blessed Virgin Mary, respectively. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless!

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie