Tag Archives: John the Baptist

The Birth of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

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The birth of John the Baptist reveals a pattern in his relationship to Jesus. John comes first to prepare the way for the greater glory that shines upon Christ. May John’s example inspire us to continue to blaze a trail for the proclamation of the Good News in our lives today.

Mass Readings – Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!


Study, Pray, Serve: The Baptism of the Lord

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Let’s take a look at some of the key themes that surface in the readings for the Baptism of the Lord. Please note that there are options for the 1st Reading, Psalm and 2nd Reading!

1st Reading – Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7

  • Isaiah speaks of God’s chosen one in whom he is well pleased.
  • This servant shall perform mighty deeds that bring hope and life to the people.

1st Reading – Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11

  • The people hear of the one who will prepare the way of the Lord.
  • The herald brings good news of comfort and tenderness which casts out fear.

Psalm 29:1-4,9-10

  • “The Lord will bless his people with peace.”
  • Glory and praise is given to God who reigns with might over heaven and earth.

Psalm 104:1-4,24-25,27-30

  • “O bless the Lord, my soul”
  • God’s majesty is praised for the goodness of all creation.

2nd Reading – Acts 10:34-38

  • While in the house of Cornelius (a non-Jew) Peter teaches about Jesus.
  • Peter references the baptism of John and the power of Jesus to do good deeds.

2nd Reading – Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

  • The grace of God trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires.
  • We have been saved through the “bath of rebirth” and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Gospel – Luke 3:15-16,21-22

  • John testifies that one mightier than he is coming who will baptize the people with the Holy Spirit and fire.
  • As Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit comes upon him in the form of a dove and the Father’s voice is heard from heaven.

Mass Readings – The Baptism of the Lord

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Study, Pray, Serve: 3rd Sunday of Advent

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Let’s explore some of the themes we see in the readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent.

1st Reading – Zephaniah 3:14-18a

  • The people shout for joy and exult at the power of God who turns away their enemies.
  • God is in the midst of the people and they are no longer afraid.

Response – Isaiah 12:2-3,4b-6

  • “Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.”
  • We are confident and unafraid for our strength and courage is the Lord.

2nd Reading – Philippians 4:4-7

  • We rejoice in the Lord and have no anxiety; rather we pray with thanksgiving as we make our petitions known to God.
  • The peace of God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Gospel – Luke 3:10-18

  • John the Baptist gives advice and direction to the people.
  • John’s preaching prepares the people for the coming of Jesus.

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Advent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Study, Pray, Serve: 2nd Sunday of Advent

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Here’s a quick look at the themes for the readings for the 2nd Sunday of Advent.

1st Reading – Baruch 5:1-9

  • The prophet encourages the people to take off the robe of mourning and misery and put on the splendor of glory from God.
  • God has commanded; he is leading the people in joy and bringing them back in glory.

Psalm 126:1-6

  • “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”
  • The people who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

2nd Reading – Philippians 1:4-6,8-11

  • Paul confidently prays with joy for the people that they will continue their good work until the day of Christ Jesus.
  • This good work includes love, knowledge, discernment, purity and the fruit of righteousness.

Gospel – Luke 3:1-6

  • Luke sets the context of John the Baptist with the names of history, such as Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate and the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas.
  • John’s ministry is understood in light of the words of Isaiah…prepare the way of the Lord!

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


The birth of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

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John the Baptist plays a crucial role in salvation history as the one who comes “to prepare the way of the Lord.” His example inspires us to continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in our lives today.

Mass Readings – The Birth of John the Baptist

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Daily Mass: Christ must increase in our hearts. Catholic Inspiration

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John the Baptist reveals a humility and depth of knowledge as he recognizes how the ministry of Jesus must grow. “He must increase; I must decrease.” May these words apply to each one of us as we welcome Christ as King of our hearts.

Mass Readings – Saturday after Epiphany

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The Baptism of the Lord

My photo at the Jordan River while on pilgrimage in the Holy Land in 2019.

Study:  Find out about your baptism.  When was it?  Who performed it?  Who are your Godparents?  Who else was present?

Pray:  Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.

Serve:  How can you live your baptismal call today?  How can your faith inspire or assist another?

Mass Readings – The Baptism of the Lord

A few years ago I was having lunch when I ran into Fr. Bob Koszarek, a retired priest from our diocese.  When I asked him what brought him out for lunch he said, “I am celebrating the anniversary of my baptism.”  The comment struck me, especially when he followed it up with, “Do you know the day of your baptism?”

The answer is no.  Yet as I prepare for Mass this week I have made a commitment to find out.  We claim (rightly so) that baptism is a crucial sacrament in the Church – the gateway to all other sacraments whereby we are configured to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Most people know if they have been baptized; my sense is that very few know the actual date.

Our faith is a precious gift – worth fighting for, worth dying for.  Perhaps today we pause to recall just how precious it truly is…Jesus Christ poured out his blood on the Cross for us that we might have eternal life.  His baptism was the revelation of the Trinity, where we hear the Father’s voice from heaven as the Spirit descends upon the Son in the form of a dove.  Our baptism allows us to participate fully in God’s presence for the grace and guidance we need.

I invite us today to claim our baptism.  Some simple steps:

  • Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know Jesus and live as a Christian disciple
  • Embrace your faith through study and prayer
  • Serve others in the name of Jesus Christ (and with his help and strength)
  • Allow your life to bring Good News to the World

Our baptism is not a one time event.  Rather, it is an ongoing expression of Christ working through us.  May the Baptism of the Lord inspire us to live our faith with joy as we engage our lives with his power.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on January 4, 2016.


Daily Mass: The birth of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

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The birth of John the Baptist continues to build up expectation as we await the coming of the Messiah. God is constantly doing something new; do we see the Lord’s hand at work in our lives today?

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent


Daily Mass: Are we open to God’s Good News? Catholic Inspiration

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Zechariah’s response to the angel Gabriel reveals a common human trait to doubt good news. May we confront this behavior in our hearts as we seek recognize the Lord at work in our lives each and every day.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 3rd Week of Advent


3rd Sunday of Advent: Testify to the Light! Catholic Inspiration

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The Gospel reveals how John the Baptist was sent to testify to Christ, the Light of the world. Following John’s example, we are called to testify to the Light…so that others will find Christ in our words and actions.

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Advent


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