June 24, 2017
Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
The Gospel Today
Luke 1:57-66, 80
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.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.
REFLECTION (Sem. Gail P. Cruz)
“The rising sun shall shine on us, to bring the light of day.” Zechariah proclaims when his son John the Baptist, was born. It was a proclamation of hope and thanksgiving to the Lord because at his age, it was already late to have a child. What more for a barren mother who had been asking for the Lord to have a child for more that eighty years? It was impossible for Zechariah and Elizabeth to have a child, but God bestowed to them this gift.
I was eight years old when my mother told me the story of my infancy. Into my mother’s pregnancy for her second child, the doctor told her that there is a baby inside her womb. It was me breathing inside her. She told me that, even if I was the second child, there is this feeling of joy that lifted her heart in gladness.
She told me that, upon learning the result of the ultra sound, she already dedicated me to the Lord. She prayed that when I grow up that I will serve the Lord.
Like Elizabeth in the Gospel, my mother dedicated me but did not force me to serve. It was God’s will that I am called not because I am Lola’s boy who had always accompanied my grandmother in fixing and arranging the chapel before the Mass since grade school until high school. They did not ask me to enter the service as an altar boy. I believe that it was my own desire to accept God’s invitation that I am able to serve His Son. It was His will that I am now a seminarian who, like Elizabeth and her son, continuously obeys and follow God’s plan for me, and continue to trust in Him that someday according to His will the call will be fulfilled.