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Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, Vigil Mass la Nativité de Jean le Baptisté, la messe de la veille

“The angel said to Zechariah : ’Do not be afraid, for your prayer has been heard : your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you shall name him John.”
Sunday 21 June 2015

Jr.1, 4-10 Ps.70 1 P. 1,8-12 Lk.1,5-17

NATIVITY of St. JOHN the BAPTIST - vigil mass

“In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron.Both were upright in the sight of God and impeccably carried out all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless : Elizabeth was barren and they were both advanced in years.”

We celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist which has a link with the Nativity of Jesus celebrated some months later. The Angel Gabriel came to Mary at the sixth month of the conception of John the Baptist. At the heart of our aged world the birth of the One who announces a new Life comes about. Luke presents to us Jesus Our Saviour as the Son of Man, manifesting the power of the Eternal One who spreads his grace amongst men.His grace is Jesus in relationship with Israel, as He had promised.What characterizes this recital and gives it its charm and a particular interest, is that it presents Zachariah in his weakness and mission in the service of the Precursor. John the Baptist will announce Jesus Himself, just as He is , a man on earth walking daily amidst fellow men. The Church celebrates this new time, this time of grace, a time that John the Baptist the Precursor prepares us for. Thus John the Baptist will show the accomplishment of the book of the first Testament so that the new one stands out : “God does grace”. It is a new time that is announced, for out of the world grown old, God makes something fundamentally new.

“Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord , standing on the right of the altar of incense.The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, ’Zechariah, do not be afraid, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear a son and you shall name him John.”

Right from the start Luke had an intimate and exact knowledge of everything he wrote about. Ho found it a good thing to write so as to provide for the needs of the Church, in his teaching about the preparation for Jesus, the Son of God’s Coming. His writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit. We are capable of understanding the hardships we can still go through, knowing how much that what is subconscious in us can be loaded with suffering, rooted in the ’old world’. On this day we celebrate a new starting point : the Mystery of Jesus having us recapitulate all things in Him. Still today our hearts are made heavy by the weight of the former world, but this misery in the world will disappear, humanity will let itself be renovated in Christ’s Mystery. We wish to enter into this Joy,as God wants to make all things new. “You sound me , lord, and you know is you who created me in the depths of my being, your works are prodigeous : my whole being knows it.” From now on this beauty of our being will be seen openly.

“Even from his mother’s womb John the Baptiste will be filled with the Holy Spirit and he will bring back many of the Israelites to the Lord their God.With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to reconcile fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the good sense of the upright , preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.”

The announce of the birth of John the Baptist opens up a whole new perspective for humanity. John will be poor, moved by the Holy Spirit. A new era is announced, from now on everything is free, gracious and new ;everything is given in a way that is even better than the first day of Creation. God reveals to us the secret of His Heart through the announce of Jesus. The world of nature, the religious world, is situated in a surpassing of itself. These preparations announce it, for they are very precise. Zachariah is disturbed on seeing the angel who tells him : “Don’t be afraid, because your pleading has been answered and your wife Elizabeth will bear a Son to you and you shall call him John, that is to say, God makes grace; and many shall rejoice because of his birth and he will be great before God and will be filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb.”

Let us ask for the grace to truely enter into this spiritual Joy, in the way of Salvation and Peace.

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