June 24, 2020
by Barbara Dilly
Creighton University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology 
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

“To prepare a people fit for the Lord” is the phrase that drew my attention in the readings for today.  It appeared twice.  In these readings, John the Baptist was given this task, but there are many stories in the Bible of those who were called to preach the Good News through the Holy Spirit.  In fact, the Old Testament reading today says some are dedicated to this task even before they are born, and certainly others are called from an early age in the teaching of youth.  That should remind us that teaching our children in the ways of the Lord are critical tasks in the work of the church and in family life.  It is through this teaching that we are guided by the spirit of the Lord who puts the words of justice and salvation in our mouths.

Still, most of us don’t think we are among the heroes of the Bible, those people who could indeed turn people to the Lord.  Yet, there are many among us, and certainly among the readers of these reflections who can turn the hearts of the people toward their children with the preaching of “things into which angels longed to look.”  Teaching children is so important at this time in our lives.  Most of us, however how faithful, don’t think we are such people.  Let’s reflect carefully on that today.  Were we not all chosen by God in our mother’s wombs? Were we not all filled by the Holy Spirit in our baptisms?  Have we not been taught the Word of God since our youth?  Have we not seen the joy of our faith in our lives?

So, then, are we not called to preach the Good News through the Holy Spirit?  Why are we not called to prepare a people fit for the Lord?  We the faithful can surely all expect to be guided by the Spirit to speak the words of justice and salvation.  Lord knows, if we are listening, we can hear that call.  We can find the words to turn people to the Lord and to turn their hearts toward their children and their needs.  At this critical time, we need to form children’s hearts and minds with faith and hope, not our fears and indifference.  Let us all pray that we will find our voices in preparing the world to be fit for the Lord by paying careful attention to the teaching of youth.  The Spirit is indeed with us.

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