June 24, 2019
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist - Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 587

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
Acts 13:22-26
Luke 1:57-66, 80

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying the Psalms

Luke's gospel speaks of the earliest events in the New Testament, from the announcement of a son to Zechariah and Elizabeth when Zechariah is standing in the Holy of Holies, to the Annunciation and then the Visitation, and finally to the actual birth of John and  his father's song of praise and joy when the Lord releases him from his inability to speak.  The  focus here, in the very first chapters of Luke, is on John – but only as a prefiguration, a raising of awareness, of the one whom John is to announce. 

One way of seeing the birth of John is as just one more milestone in the history of God's love for us, not a clear start to anything but rather the continuation of all the preparation and formation that God had put His people through over the centuries and the fulfillment of some of the Elijah prophecies.  From another perspective, though, it is also that point at which the New Testament begins.  Suddenly there is a whole new tone to Scripture – not only in Luke but in all the Gospels, in the letters of Paul, and in the emphatic and lyrical visions of Revelation; there is a sense of a gathering radical change, Good News not only for the Chosen People but for all people everywhere and throughout history, for all of that creation entrusted to us at our creation (Gen 1:26; 2:19-20). 

And rough, simple, deep, humble John is the bearer of that word, not in the trendy and buzzing cities, not to the satisfied and the complete, but to the seekers, those who will find their Hearts' Desire in solitude, silence, fasting, and sincere prayer – just where John was. 

Do I dare to be a John?  Do I even wish to be?  

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook