Sunday 21 June 2015 — Latest update Wednesday 6 April 2016

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist La Nativité de St Jean le Baptiste

“And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for Him.”

Is.49, 1-6 Ps. 138 Ac. 13,22-26 Lk. 1, 57-66.80

Nativity of John the Baptist

“And you, little child, you shall be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for him.”

Is.49,1-6 Ps.138 Ac.13,22-26 Lk.1,57-66.80

"The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son ; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had lavished on her his faithful love, they shared her joy.

All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea.’ What will this child turn out to be?’ They wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.

His father Zechariah was filed with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophesy :

’Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited his people, he has set them free."

John the Baptist is this man whose life, in the history of salvation, marks the importance of our humanity moving forward in our encounter with God.

His nativity is given to us as a unique event born from an old couple : ’She gave to the world a son.’ A common expression, rich of deep meaning. The world receives the one whom no one no longer was waiting for. People rejoice, then and straightaway tries to make him their own. But a rupture comes about!

’No, his name will be John.’

John the Baptist’s birth is the Beauty of a new beginning with a promise.

The good news leads us, takes us out of ourselves, leading us to true life.

’His name will be John.’

This decision comes from an inner breath and exchanged between Elizabeth and Zachariah in their intimacy.

It is in weakness and poverty of this child that God will act for the salvation of the world! This is how it is in our lives. The Holy Spirit acts in our weakness.

"In the House of his servant David

he has established for us a saving power.

Just as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times, that he would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all those who hate us,

and show faithful love to our ancestors, and so keep in mind his holy covenant

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham that he would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies.“”What will this child turn out to be?“He will go, putting his own life at risk, to say what the right is : ’You don’t have the right to take this woman as wife.” Right at his conception, John the Baptist asks once again the question about existence, bringing it like this to God, taking each person out of daily life, of what normally goes on.

He is ’this voice crying in the desert’. He knocks down what prevents us, through protection, of seeing God’s Beauty.

The happiness of this birth is a pearl for us all, the happiness of existing is given back to mankind’s earth.

Inner freedom is given back to us. The prophetic spirit is a spirit of humility, it is also a spirit of strength, a spirit of straightness and justice. It is in him that our ’yes is yes’ and that our ’no is no.’

"Such is the Loving kindness of our God

In which the rising Sun has come to visit us from on high

To give light tot hose who live in darkness and in the shadow of death

Ad to guide our feet into the way of Peace."

We are acquainted with John the Baptist’s life, what animates him deep down, but don’t let us be mistaken, he will go into the desert, he will go as far as humanity can, he will drop certitudes so as to be nothing but a pure waiting of ’the One who comes’.

John the Baptist’s life is a call to life, to rediscover his own way. The poor announce Jesus , the Saviour of the world, without even knowing it!

The prophet announces God, he doesn’t put himself in front, what he says he says with strength and with truth and then he fades away.

’The smallest person in the kingdom is greater than him’ announced Jesus.

“And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for him, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of our sins.”

We ask for the grace to remain in God and to bear witness to Jesus by our lives.

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

“The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judea.”What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him. His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophesy : ’Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited his people, he has set them free.’ “John the Baptist’s birth is a gospel of the Beauty of new beginnings, along with its promises and joy. It is so good to come together to say ’Thank you’ to God and to feel this feeling of gratitude towards Him. In this gospel we see the child’s parents celebrate with their family and neighbours. The Good News goes further, it takes us along with it, taking us out of ourselves and leading us towards true Life. The sign is simple : things don’t happen as foreseen, the name that brings about a rupture is ’John’: ’his name will be John’. This decision comes from an inner breath and exchange between Elizabeth and Zachariah, the bride and her husband, in their intimacy. God acts for the Salvation of the world through the weakness and poverty of this child! The same happens in our own lives, the Holy Spirit acts through our weakness :”I was still in my mother’s womb when the Lord called me, ’. John the Baptist will call Jesus ’the smallest of all children of men’ but he also announces that he is the greatest of all Prophets. In the wake of John the Baptist, we are all a people of priests, prophets and kings announcing Jesus the King of Love. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for help so that we may come to understand how a smile, a comforting word, can touch someone’s heart, for God acts out of our littleness.

"And he has established for us a saving power in the house of his servant David, just as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times, that he would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all those who

hate us, and show faithful love to our ancestors, and so keep in mind his holy covenant; This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies.“The happiness of this birth is a pearl for us all, the happiness of existing is given back to all peoples on earth. Inner freedom is given back to us, it requires a dialogue, allowing us to trust another human word to let ourselves be engendered by it. Just like Elizabeth and Zechariah who spoke with each other to see how they could call their child differently and open up a new way, we want to take time for friendship and love. The prophetic Sprit is One of humility but also One of strength, uprightness and righteousness.’ He made of me a striking sword’ It is a Spirit of gentleness, an Unction of Love. The Spirit of Truth acts and makes straight the way!” Flatten the hills, fill the ravines.“It is in Him that our ’yes is yes’ and that our ’no is no’. If the prophet is heard and the Lord not listened to, courageously he goes on his way in the certitude that God will come to his help.The Lord protects the prophets : ’he made of him his favorite arrow keeping it tight in his quiver.”

“’ Such is the tenderness of the Heart of our God, thanks to which the Rising Sun from on high has come to visit us, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow dark as death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace.’ Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit grew strong. And he lived in the desert until the day he appeared openly in Israel.”

The good news echoes in our hearts. We let it take its flight in its blessing over us. John the Baptist’s life is a call to life, to rediscover one’s own way. Let us take a risk in silence, making prayer our friend. The prophet announces the Lord who does his work of love thanks to his child’s poverty. The poor announce Jesus, the Saviour of the world without knowing it! "The one you think of is not me ; I am not worthy to undo the thong of his sandals, ’John the Baptist will say. The prophet announces God, not putting himself forward, what he has to say he says with the strength of Truth then he fades away into the background. ’The smallest in the Kingdom of God is greater than he’, announces Jesus. And you, little child, you shall be called the prophet of the Most High, you shall walk before the Lord

and prepare is way, to give to his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of his sins."

Let us ask for the grace to dwell in God and to bear witness to Jesus by our life."