It is 24th June 2018. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Birth of St John the Baptist. The readings are from Isaiah 49:1-6; the second reading is from Acts 13:22-26; and the Gospel from Luke 1:57-66, 80. In the Church, we celebrate the death of a saint as a new birth in Heaven with the exception of three persons namely Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist whose natural birth is celebrated as the Nativity. They are born without original sin and sanctified by God even before birth. “He shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15). He is the one who prepared the minds of people to invite the Messiah as the light of the nation. “You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way; to give His people knowledge of salvation, in the forgiveness of their sins,” (Luke 1:76-77). Annually we celebrate his birth because of his unique and prominent role as the precursor of Jesus. He is the last prophet, the messenger, he is the Patron of tailors, shepherds and masons. John was the herald of Christ, “a voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord'” (Mt 3:3). The Catechism clearly pronounces in No. 719 “John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.” In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.” He is not just merely a voice of the Lord and the witness of the truth and light that echoed against immorality, hypocrisy and intense calling for returning to the Lord. He pointed out and acknowledged the person of Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29). Does our life point out the presence of Christ? The first reading is the “Servant Songs” of Second Isaiah reminds us of the messenger who prepares the way for the Lord. He is the light to the nation leading us to the Light, Jesus. The primary mission of the Messiah is bringing all scattered people under the umbrella of forgiveness and mercy of God and to be the light to all God’s people. The second reading presents St. John the Baptist as the herald and the proclaimer of the Lord and for his untiring call to repentance and his undoubted submission to Christ, the Messiah. “I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.” (Acts.13:25). The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.” (Ps.139:14). The Gospel narrates the birth of John the Baptist and the story behind his name. “John” means “God is gracious” or “the graciousness of God”. Every birth brings great joy in the family and friends. The concern most of the parents have is often what would the child turn out to be. Every child is the gift from God to the family and the community that belongs. Every parent and the members of the family must guide, counsel, direct and inspire the child until it reaches the Lord. Do our lives testify, point out and magnify the Lord whom we believe and worship? What is the purpose of our birth? Do we have time and resources to reflect about why we are here on earth and for whom are we here for? If our birth has no purpose other than pointing the goodness of God, it is not worth living. May the Lord through the intercession of St. John the Baptist continue to lead us to Christ. May you have a good day.