The Birth of John the Baptist
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son.
58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah,
60 But his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."
61 They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child.
63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John."
64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.
65 The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.
66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.
The birth of John the Baptist achieves the promise and puts an end to the Old Testament and begins the New Testament. All the promises of God that started with Abraham begin to be achieved according to His salvation project. His birth announces this promise and this project. He came to pave the way and announces the coming of God’s Mercy that was concretized in Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist is a great prophet whose birth is considered one of the greatest births. This voice yelling in the moral conscience of each man: “Repent for the Kingdom of God is near”, is the same voice that we hear yelling: “Listen and be aware”. Jesus wants to be born in your heart to make changes; He wants to be born in orphanages, among poor people, suffering persons, in the heart of children and in each one who seeks His mercy. Let your heart be opened to Him.
The birth of John tells us, from two thousand years ago: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight”. Pave the way for He is coming to you. Welcome his birth with a pure heart, with prayers and by getting away from sin and not only by celebrating and decorating…
This voice, my dear brothers, warns us to renounce to sins and repent so that we can live the spirit of Christmas with a full spirituality that expresses the credibility and the depth of our Christian life. All this can be done by doing good works, repenting, realizing our Christianity and understanding the depth of His incarnation reacting in us.
Let us live and apply, through our love for God and for man, this gift which is but the sacrifice of the Lord himself.