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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

June 24th: Birth of John the Baptist

Gospel text (Lk 1,57-66.80): When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son (…). When on the eighth day they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, «Not so; he shall be called John» (…). As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; he lived in the desert till the day when he appeared openly in Israel.

Birth of John the Baptist (chosen by God)

Fr. Joan MARTÍNEZ Porcel (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the Nativity of the Baptist. St. John is a man of contrasts: he lives in the silence of the desert, but right from there he appeals to the crowds; he is humble enough to say he is only the voice, not the Word, but he dares to accuse and denounce all injustices even to the very king. Silent and humble, he is also strong and courageous enough to shed his blood. John the Baptist is a great man!

Perhaps, the secret of his greatness is the realization of knowing he has been chosen by God. All his childhood and youth was marked by the understanding of his mission: to provide testimony; which he does by baptizing Christ in the river Jordan, by favorably disposing the crowds for the Lord and, at the end of his life, by shedding his blood in favour of the truth.

—Through the baptism, we have been all chosen and sent to bear witness of the Lord. In an environment of indifference, St. John is a helping example to imitate.