Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Ah, the miracle of the birth of a child. I know from first hand experience what that is like. I was present for the birth of our two children, now grown adults—the firstborn after multiple miscarriages. I held them minutes after they were born. I know the utter joy of what the elderly parents Elizabeth and Zachariah must have felt at the birth of their little boy who would become Saint John the Baptist. Today we celebrate his birth as a solemnity.
St. Paul preached that John was the herald of Jesus our Savior, saying, “I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.” The gospel writer Luke tells us “the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit . . .”
There is a child in each of us whose “inmost being” the Lord God has “formed,” a God who knows me intimately, who understands “my thoughts from afar,” who knows “my soul full well.”
Speaking figuratively, the Lord God has birthed in each of us a special vocation, certain aptitudes, a set of skills that have made us into the persons we are today. As disciples of Jesus inspired by the legacy of Saint Peter Julian Eymard we are called to be heralds of Jesus, and, nurtured by the Eucharist, to “grow and become strong in spirit.”
At Mass, and in our prayer today, can we reflect on the child(ren) who has been birthed in us, literally or figuratively, and echo the words of the psalmist, “I praise you (I give you thanks) for I am wonderfully made”?
Let Us Pray:
O Lord, you have probed me, you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works. (from Psalm 139)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)