June 24 backgrounder: Birth of St. John the Baptist

June 24

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Solemnity

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light” (Jn 1:6-9).

Today the Church celebrates the birth of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the line of prophets sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. As the Catechism teaches us, “The coming of God’s son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ; all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the ‘First Covenant.’ He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel.”

As such, we recognize Saint John the Baptist as surpassing all the other prophets. In the fullness of time, the prophetic cycle starting with Elijah came to completion; for in Saint John the Holy Spirit completed his work of making a people ready for God’s Son. Also, Saint John abundantly welcomed Christ into the world; he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, foreshadowed Christ’s coming in his preaching, baptized and bore witness to Jesus in the Jordan, and gave his life in holy martyrdom. We celebrate Saint John the Baptist’s birth as a triumph to the hope and joy present in Christ’s coming.

Written by Sarah Ciotti

From divineoffice.org

The Concho Padre

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