Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Today, we mark the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. So great is John’s contribution to salvation history that Holy Mother Church does not celebrate anyone else’s birth as a solemnity–except that of Jesus. John the Baptist’s birth reminds us of Isaac, Eli, Samson and their mothers whose births came about because nothing is impossible for God. He is the one leaping and dancing for joy before the Lord, at the sound of the Blessed Mother’s voice, not unlike how King David danced with joy before the Lord. Sanctified in the womb of Saint Elizabeth, John is the forerunner of Christ. He is the voice crying out in the wilderness preaching repentance, preparing the way of the Lord, calling us to behold the Lamb of God, thereby answering Isaac’s question, which echoes throughout the Old Testament: “Where is the Lamb?”
Like Saint John the Baptist, we are also called to prepare the world for the Lord. By following Mary’s instruction to do whatever the Lord tells us, we get the world ready to hear Him and to receive Him at His second coming, just as John made straight the way of the Lord. By decreasing ourselves, we permit Christ our Light to increase so that all might come to know and believe in the Lamb of God, slain for our salvation in order to give us eternal life and love, in order that our joy might be complete. May Saint John the Baptist help us behold the Lamb of God and prepare His way!
Art for this post on the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist: Birth of John the Baptist, Jacobo Pontormo, 1526, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, PD-Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons.