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Theology for the common man

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Sunday, June 24, 2018

„I will make you a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth”. This sentence from the first reading today contains the prophecy of Isaiah who speaks about the coming of a Messiah who will bring the light to the earth by his work of salvation. This prophesy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The great role in this plan of God’s played by John the Baptist, who by his activity has prepared the nation of Israel for the coming of Jesus. Today we commemorate his nativity. John the Baptist was the voice of God and assurance to everyone of a historical coming of the true Messiah to the people of Israel and through them to all the nations, starting as a light for them. There are few mentions in the Holy Scriptures about this role of St. John. Before his birthday, 6 months before the savior’s birth, he expresses his joy by moving himself in the womb of his mother Elisabeth, when she meets her cousin Maria, the mother of Jesus. The time of his birth is commemorating in the history as an exceptional moment, when he against the family custom receives a new name, John. It looks like the author wanted to remark that with a coming of Messiah to whom John foretold would begin a new era for humankind. At the end of his prophetic mission John assures he is not an awaiting Messiah, but after him will come Jesus, whom he is “not worthy to untie sandals straps”. And at the very end he teaches his disciples, who finally followed Jesus, that Jesus is “a lamb who takes away the sins of the world”. As the nation of Israel receives assurance of fulfilling the promises of salvation in the mission of John the Baptist, the predecessor of the Lord, so also we are enriched of his testimony, believe that the this coming of the Messiah was done in the person of Jesus Christ, who in the Holy Spirit embrace us with his salutary love.