June 24, 2008
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass during the Day
Luke 1:57-66, 80
I want to start this post with the main part of the preface to today's Eucharistic Prayer:
Father all powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We praise your greatness as we honor the prophet who prepared the way before your Son. You set John the Baptist apart from other men, marking him out with special favor. His birth brought great rejoicing: even in the womb he leapt for joy, so near was man's salvation.
You chose John the baptist from all the prophets to show the world its redeemer, the lamb of sacrifice. He baptized Christ, the giver of baptism, in waters made holy by the one who was baptized. You found John worthy of a martyr's death, his last and greatest act of witness to your Son.
Today we celebrate the birth of the greatest of Jesus disciples. John the Baptist got it right straight out of the gate. John's whole life centered on one thing, preparing the way of Jesus. John would set aside all agenda and self gain so that he could proclaim the Messiah and his kingdom of love, grace, reconciliation and peace.
I always find that John the Baptist makes me feel unworthy. I mean, John is the epitome of what it means to be a faithful disciple at all times. He did everything for the glory of God. John was not perfect by any means. John shows that it isn't about being perfect because we humans will fail time and again. John's witness is that it is about faithfulness. I am sure that John made many mistakes but what he did not fail in was being faithful to the Savior. John is the proof that we can be faithful if we truly place Jesus at the center of life and practice. In all we do, may Jesus be glorified and his Good News be proclaimed so that all may know his love! That is what it is all about!
I am embarrassed at times by my failings. Most of us have experience with someone always being there to point out our failures to us. It seems to be a favorite past time for some. Good thing is that Jesus never, ever does that to us. Jesus waits for us to respond to his invitation to be a faithful disciple. Our imperfections and mistakes cannot separate us from the love of Jesus.
John the Baptist did one thing and he did it well. He proclaimed the goodness of Jesus and his salvation extended to all who will believe and follow him. "All Jesus, all the time" could have been John's tag line. May we all have the courage to follow his great example.