On Monday, June 24th our Church honors Saint John the Baptist:
“A man was sent from God whose name was John. He came to testify to the light, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.” John 1.6-7, Luke 1.17
His Father was Zechariah, his Mother Elizabeth. He was the child who leapt in the womb of Elizabeth when the Blessed Virgin Mary announced that she was to give birth to a child and name him Jesus. John the Baptist was a cousin to our Lord, Jesus Christ and a very important part of the story of our salvation. John was destined from the time he was in his mother’s womb to be the one who would prepare a people for the coming of the Son of God. Many thought him to be the Savior the world was awaiting, but he, a humble servant, explained to all:
“One greater than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.” Luke 3.16 John was understood by his followers to be a wise prophet and his preaching became a prelude to what Jesus would teach. He was preparing the people of God to receive their long-awaited Savior calling all to repent of their sins. John the Baptist was imprisoned by King Herod and died when he was beheaded at the order of the king. His disciples came to the prison, took his body, buried it and then went to tell Jesus what had happened.
His preaching was so powerful that Scripture tells us that Jesus’ disciples were still encountering John’s followers years after his death. He was never officially canonized as the canonization process was not in place until the 1200s. From the very beginning of the early Church he was called a saint for the people knew him to be a prophet who died a martyr. John the Baptist is the model of how Christians ought to live their prophetic mission, pointing others toward Jesus with passion and humility.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC