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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Reflection/Homily: Birthday of John the Baptist (June 24 2012)


Theme: The Identity of John the Baptist
 As we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist today, we wish to reflect on three significant aspects of his identity: his name, his personality and his mission.

In most families, the naming of a child has always been a controversial issue because of the choice of name. In John’s case as we see in the gospel (Lk. 1:57-66), it was not a controversy between his parents but between Elizabeth and their relations. Zechariah had already been given a name for the child by an angel (cf. Luke 1:13) but the relations wanted a name that has existed in their lineage. At last, Zechariah confirmed the choice of the name and at the pronunciation of the name “John”, his tongue was let loosed.

Perhaps most often we take names to be ordinary words assigned to a person. It is the name that gives a thing its individual identity and in John’s case, having a name given by the Divine is an indication that God has a special purpose and plan for him. Thus, the first reading (Is. 49:1-6) says “before my birth he had pronounced my name”

God has given each and every one of us a name like John the Baptist. The difference is that in John’s case, God revealed his name directly through an angel but in our case, through the wisdom of human instruments. Our names give us a special and unique identity before God.

Have you identified this God-given identity? God has created you for a purpose and that purpose is your vocation or destiny in life which is unique. It does not matter whether your destiny had existed in your family lineage or not. God is placing you above every family or cultural limitations. Hold on to your faith and try to actualize your destiny in life.

The personality of John the Baptist is one that is target-oriented. Perhaps, he lived in a society so much distracted as ours. It is an age where technological gadgets keep us away from finding time for God or listening to His voice. John had to run away from this type of environment and lifestyle into the desert where he had much time to listen to God. There he prepared himself for his ministry.

You too can emulate John nit by running away into the desert but by making out private and silent moments to commune with God, to listen to Him and to take directions. Our age is too distracting and noisy that we have less time for God. We need people who will listen to God before talking to men. We are all invited to make room for silence and meditation for divine illumination in all our life endeavours.
John developed this kind of personality because of his mission. He had a divine mission to accomplish, he is the voice crying out in the desert calling people to repentance, he has come to prepare the way for the Lord. His personality was built with the virtue of humility which the second reading (Acts 13:22-26) points out. This mission of calling people to repentance still continues in our days. We hear the voice of John everyday on the pulpit, television, radio and even on the internet. How do you respond to this voice? Are you too busy to listen to it? Remember, “if you hear his voice today harden not your heart”.

Beloved friends, may we learn from the story of John. Like him, you have a name that reflects your identity. Your identity should reflect in your personality and your personality should be built to be compatible with your mission. John’s greatness began at birth but was sustained through his efforts. Even if you were not born great, you can achieve greatness if you follow after his examples.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:34 pm

    Interesting homily.

    ReplyDelete

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