Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist.

Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist.

“What will this child turn out to be?”

There are some feast days that trump the Ordinary Time Sundays, and this week we have such an event. The birth of St John the Baptist on 24 June is a celebration of the one described by Jesus as “no greater born of a woman”.

The question asked by the people on the occasion of his birth, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ is perhaps a question that is asked of every newborn. Perhaps this week’s readings will help us see something of God’s perspective on that question about ourselves.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

Islands, listen to me, pay attention remotest peoples. The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name. (Isaiah 49:1)

  • Have you had a sense of being called and chosen by God?
  • What is the significance of your name?
  • Think of your name being pronounced as you were baptised.
  • Pay attention to what the Lord is saying to you now.

 

Monday.

He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel) in whom I shall be glorified’; while I was thinking ‘I have toiled in vain, I have exhausted myself for nothing’; and all the while my cause was with the Lord, my reward with my God. (Isaiah 49:3-4)

  • How does your life glorify God?
  • Have you had the feeling of exhausting yourself for nothing?
  • Reflect that your reward is with the Lord.
  • Listen to the Lord who names you as his servant.

 

Tuesday.

 For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation. (Psalm 138:13-14)

  • Reflect on your development into the person you are today.
  •  Thank the Lord for the wonder of your being.
  •  Reflect on the gift of life your mother gave you.
  •  What is the Lord saying about you?

 

Wednesday.

To keep his promise, God raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. (Acts 13:23-24)

  • What does the title ‘Saviour’ mean to you?
  •  Is there anything you need to repent of?
  •  What promises has God kept for you?
  •  Listen to the Lord who keeps his promises.

 

Thursday.

Alleluia, alleluia! As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God the Most High. You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. Alleluia! (cf Luke 1:76)

  • Think of what it is like to hold a new born baby in your arms.
  •  Think of the possibilities each child has to grow and develop.
  •  What does the idea of a ‘prophet’ mean to you?
  •  Listen to the Lord the Most High who holds you as a beloved child.

 

Friday

The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.’  (Luke 1:57-58)

  • What would Elizabeth have been experiencing?
  •  When have you shared another’s joy?
  •  When have others shared in your joy?
  •  Listen to the Lord who shows such great kindness.

 

Saturday

All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.  (Luke 1:66,80)

  • What do you treasure in your heart?
  •  When has the hand of the Lord been with you?
  •  What has matured in you?
  •  Listen to what the Lord who treasures you.
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