Today is a day of great rejoicing. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of
the Birth of John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist was the forerunner to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The last and greatest of the Old Testament prophets, St. John heralded the coming of the Lord. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.” A perfect model of the virtue of humility, St. John would say to those who thought he was the Redeemer: “I am not He,” and, “A man is coming after me Who ranks ahead of me because He existed before me,” and “He must increase and I must decrease.” As with his life, he gave glory and testament to God, so to in his martyr’s death. However, The Baptist’s cry, “Behold the Lamb of God”, still rings out at every Mass.
Let us together Honor this great saint with the very canticle that his father uttered at his circumcision. Let us pray, together with the whole Church, the Canticle of Zechariah, found in the morning prayer of the Divine Office.
Canticle of Zechariah
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to His people and set them free, He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of His servant David. Through His holy prophets He promised of Old that He would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and remember His holy covenant. This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship Him without fear, holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way, to give His people knowledge of salvation, by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Happy feast day everyone. I hope we grow in the virtues of the “prophet of the Most High” on his special day. God Bless You. Remember, He must increase and we must decrease. God Alone Sufficeth.