June 24, 2018 BIRTHDAY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Luke 1:59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
Luke 1:80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
A birth is never “just” a birth. Each new life is always a gift and, at the same time, an affirmation, a sign of hope. Even in difficult circumstances, joy is the spontaneous response and with such joy comes a new sense of being more alive, more ourselves, more “graced”, with a raised aware- ness of God-with-us. Parents wonder always “what will become of this child?” What holds for each of us was also true of John the Baptist, only all the more so, as we see in Luke’s account. He was the last of the old and the first of the new, a prophet between the times — not unlike ourselves!
KIERAN'S NOTES HERE
POINTERS FOR PRAYER
1. The birth of John the Baptist was an occasion of great joy for family and friends. Recall occasions when you celebrated the arrival of a baby. What thoughts and feelings did you have? Use the memory to reflect on the wonder of your own life and give thanks for it.
2. There is often a story behind the name given to a child. What story lies behind your name? Perhaps it says something of the hopes your parents had for you, or the memories they wanted you to retain.
3. “What will this child become?” The Baptist was to become a herald pointing the way to Jesus. In our turn we are also called to point people towards a better way of life. Recall times when you were able to point somebody in a direction that helped. Give thanks for those who have done the same for you.
4. The child grew and the hand of the Lord was with him. As you look back on your own growth and development, were there things that happened about which you now say “the hand of the Lord was with me there”?
JOHN BYRNE; INTERCOM
Martin Hogan: LET THE WORD OF GOD DWELL IN YOU (Messenger)