It is 24th June 2017. We celebrate the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist. In our entrance antiphon of the Euchuarist, we acclaim, “He will be great in the sight of the Lord and will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb; and many will rejoice at his birth.” (Lk. 1: 14,15). Every birth of a child echoes the love of God to humanity. The birth of a child brings such an amount of hope, joy and happiness into the lives of family. Some births reminded the presence and protection of God in our lives and so rightly celebrated throughout the generations. St. John the Baptist even though he was the cousin of the Lord, he became the messenger of Lord Jesus. He testified about the Light and the Truth and preparing the people to encounter the Lord. (Jn. 1:6-7). 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. The Catechism teaches us that “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 is the one pointed out, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (CCC 719). In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah, God promises us to make us the light of the nations to lead others to God. “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is.9:6). Our lives like that of St. John the Baptist be the light for the others shining so that others find the way to God. The responsorial Psalm praises, “I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.” (Ps.139:14). The second reading brings out the identity and the mission of St. John the Baptist. “What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.” (Acts.13:25). When we celebrate a saint in the Church, we always remember them on the day of their death except for three persons namely Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist. The Gospel presents the birth of John in detail and the expectation of the parents spelled out. Everyone wants their children to be successful and happy. Some parents expect too much out of a child, forcing their dreams and wishes on their children, and not allowing them to be what they wish to be. Children are indeed the gifts of God. It is the basic duty of the parents to introduce God at the earliest in the life of a child and to communicate with God before everything else. Instead of making our children competitors, fighters and the winners, we need to lead them to God and making them achieve their dreams, wishes and likes. We need to teach our children to be the messengers of love, truth, justice, peace and smart working and helping them to bring out their best in all they do and believe. May St. John the Baptist intercede for us all so that we manifest the goodness of God in our lives. May you have a good day.

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