Posted by: livingscripture | June 24, 2011

Birth of John the Baptist

From the Word of the Day 

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son.  Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.

                           Luke 1: 57-58                                                                 

How should we live this Word

The other evangelists present the figure of John the Baptist in his identity as the precursor of Christ, the one who prepared the way.  Instead Luke enters deeper into his story and gathers the details of his birth.  He told us that his mother was old and sterile and how the angel Gabrie lhad announced to her husband, Zachariah, that a son would be born.  Now he narrates how, on the day of circumcision, Elizabeth opposes those who wanted to name the child after his father, as was the custom.  No, he was to be called Johnand not Zachariah. 

How beautiful and encouraging is this capacity to break with preconceived schemes and formalities frozen in centuries old usages.  This was done out of obedience to God and not from caprice.  The unforeseeable design of God had destroyed the shriveled emptiness of a womb that could not conceive children.  He rendered the elderly Elizabeth capable of generating.  Now she is with her child who will be called John.  She breathes the air of joy around her and her relatives and friends come to share the joy with her.                                                

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on the words of John Paul II, “Open wide the doors to Christ!” Jesus contains the ways and designs of the Father for us in His plan of salvation.  I must be docile to God who wants me to cast aside old ways of thinking, dried up habits, old modes of an exterior religiosity in order to receive the breath of the Spirit in my life, that I  may rejoice in my new name and in my God through believing in Jesus and His Gospel. 

Lord Jesus, renew me in Your Love!

The voice of Hèlder Camara, Witness

 No one of us can program our life like an immutable and inflexible line.

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