Friends of the Rosary:
Today, the universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the Precursor or Forerunner of the Lord.
“Amongst those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist,” Jesus said (Matthew xi, 10-12).
Ordinarily, the Church observes the day of a saint’s death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.
To this rule, there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and St. John the Baptist.
Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin, and John the Baptist was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother Elizabeth.
All other persons were stained with original sin at birth.
The Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through John the Baptist, who represented the Old Covenant and the Law. John, who was born in a town of Judea, would precede and recognize the Redeemer instantly.
The birth of John is observed on the day of the summer solstice, six months earlier than the nativity of Jesus on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice.
In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ’s incarnation today.
Christmas is a “light” feast, the same is true today as John’s Fire symbolizes Christ the Light. We Christians are the light of the world and we are united in reverence and love for this prophet-saint whose life was an incomparable example of both humility and courage.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 719, states that John the Baptist is “more than a prophet” (Lk 7:26). In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming (Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3). As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light” (Jn 1:7; cf. Jn 15:26; 5:35). “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God” (Jn 1:33-36).
Jesus, I Trust In You!
St. John the Baptist, Pray for Us!
To Jesus through Mary!
+ Mikel A. | RosaryNetwork.com, New York