Sunday 1 June 2014

Birthday of John the Baptist

Today we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist. He was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel announced his birth to his father Zechariah and gave him the name John, which means “God is gracious.”

From John the Baptist, we can learn some important things:

We learn of John’s humility when he did not want attention on himself but directed people to Jesus. People wondered if John was the Messiah and he insisted that he was not. He declared that his ministry was to prepare for the coming of the Messiah and even said, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

We learn of John’s great courage in condemning the marriage of Herod to Herod’s brother’s wife. This is a reminder to us that not everything that is allowed by law is morally right, e.g. divorce and abortion. John stood up for the truth and unfortunately like many who stand up for the truth today he had to pay a price.

John’s courage in upholding the truth challenges us in a time when it is not popular to speak or live by the truth. By turning attention away from himself towards Jesus, John reminds us to do the same also in our lives. In each of us, we ourselves are to decrease and Jesus is to increase. Are we able to be firm and fervent in doing what is right and let Jesus have the greater glory?

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