The birth of John the Baptist

Study: Recall a time when you were specifically chosen to carry out an important task.  How did you respond?

Pray: Is there a challenge or difficulty facing you right now?  Ask the Lord for the grace you need to carry it out.

Serve: Is there someone in your life that is having a tough time?  How can your words inspire and encourage?

Mass Readings – The Birth of John the Baptist

John the Baptist is a powerful prophet, calling the people to repentance and directing them to Jesus. Let’s start with an overview of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading – Isaiah recognizes how he was called from the womb to serve the Lord
  • Psalm – “I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul speaks about how John was the herald for Jesus
  • Gospel – We hear about John’s birth and how Elizabeth names him

While I have always been fascinated by this fiery prophet, I sheepishly wonder if I would want to be in deep conversation with him for very long!  John conveys an urgent and intense conviction – now is the time for repentance – and I have always imagined that he would have the ability to look right through a person into the heart.

Yet this is exactly the instrument that was needed to prepare the way for Jesus.  Chosen by God, John’s birth, life, ministry and death all serve as a crucial preliminary step for people to encounter the mission of Christ.  John blazes the trail; Jesus leads people along the way.

John’s birth also teaches us that just as John was prepared for a specific mission, so we are also called by God to offer our lives in the world.  As sons and daughters of the Lord, our lives are a blessing that is meant to be shared.  We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and now we have work to do that falls to our particular situation in life.

How are you being called to offer your life today?  How do you see the Lord at work in your words and actions?  May the example of John strengthen our resolve to share the gift of our lives!

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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