Friday 13 March 2015

Birthday of John the Baptist

Who is John the Baptist? Why are we celebrating His birthday? What is so significant about him? John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. At the same time, his ministry begins the New Testament period. Therefore, he is the link between the Old and the New Testament. But is this reason enough to celebrate the feast of his birthday? There is actually more than meets the eye, and we shall soon discover other significant points concerning why we celebrate his birthday.

We celebrate the feast of his birth because we are also called to share in his ministry as a prophet. Each of us is also called by God to his ministry even before we were born, as the prophet Isaiah in the first reading writes: “the Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.” This means that we are not the result of some accident, but we are part of God's plan and have a purpose and a mission in life. Also, we have been called to preach the Good News of God’s salvation. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God has made our mouth a sharp sword or a sharpened arrow. This means that we cannot remain silent and remain hidden in our comfort zone.

Besides that, as God’s servant and prophet, we must remember that our reward comes from the Lord, and we should not expect any other earthly reward or payment for what we do. This means that we must not compromise the truth or allow ourselves to be bribed into diluting the truth, even though there will be people who will not like what we say. Moreover, our role is to bring a message of healing and reconciliation to all, just as John the Baptist preached a message of repentance and reconciliation, and called the people to turn back to God by turning away from their evil ways to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Ultimately, we are to point the way to Jesus. We must decrease as Jesus increases. Our message and our ministry does not point to ourselves; and we must lead others to Christ, not to ourselves. All these points mentioned are precisely what John the Baptist did, and we are called to do the same by giving glory to God.

Today, as we celebrate the feast of the birthday of John the Baptist, let us learn from his example, for his example is precisely the model of Christian discipleship. May we, like John the Baptist, bear witness to the Light, and prepare others for the Lord.

No comments:

Post a Comment