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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 06-24-14, SOL, Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Mass/Day
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 06-24-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 06/23/2014 7:48:36 PM PDT by Salvation

June 24, 2014

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Mass during the Day

 

 

Reading 1 Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading 2 Acts 13:22-26

In those days, Paul said:
“God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish
.
From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

“My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.”

Gospel Lk 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer; saints
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 06/23/2014 7:48:37 PM PDT by Salvation
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2 posted on 06/23/2014 7:50:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Isaiah 49:1-6

Second Song of the Servant of the Lord


[1] Listen to me, O coastlands,
and hearken, you peoples from afar.
The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
[2] He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
[3] And he said to me, You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
[4] But I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the LORD,
and my recompense with my God.”
[5] And now the LORD says,
who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength —
[6] he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the preserved of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

49:1-55:13. Chapter 49 marks the start of the second section of the second part
of Isaiah. The first section (40:1-48:22) dealt with the release of the Jews from
exile in Babylon on the orders of the Lord, the ruler of the world and of all nations.
This second section sings of the restoration of Zion and the renewal of the peo-
ple.

Almost all the oracles here presuppose that Babylon has fallen and the exiles
have returned home (although neither event is explicitly referred to). Nor is there
mention of the universal scope of salvation: the focus is mainly on future hopes
and on Jerusalem.

Most of the oracles in this section were probably proclaimed, between the years
515 and 500 BC. If that was the case, then they were addressed to a disillusioned
people: the enthusiasm that came with the return from exile and the efforts made
to rebuild Jerusalem failed to produce the desired results: there are still class dif-
ferences, greed is plain to see, and huge sectors of society are experiencing po-
verty. The kind of Jerusalem that the exiles dreamed of had not come about: it
bore no relationship to what they were experiencing; nor did it fit the image of Je-
rusalem found in many texts of the Priestly tradition (cf. “Introduction to the Pen-
tateuch”, in “The Navarre Bible: Pentateuch” (p. 20). These oracles are designed
to dispel discouragement and to raise people’s hopes by telling them about the
liberator that God is going to send, the servant of the Lord, and by proclaiming
that the holy city (now given the sacred name of Zion) will very soon be restored.
In fact, the section can be divided into alternating poems on the servant and on
Zion: 49:1-13, the “servant” (second oracle); 49:14-50:3, “Zion”; 50:4-11, the “ser-
vant”, (third oracle and exhortation); 51:17-52:12, Zion; 52:13-53:12, the “servant”
(fourth oracle); 54:1-17, “Zion” (Jerusalem). Verses 1-13 of chapter 5

49:1-6. In the first Song of the Servant of the Lord (42:1-9) we meet the “servant”
for the first time and we are told of his mission to liberate the exiles. In this se-
cond song, the servant himself speaks. He addresses the “coastlands”, “peo-
ples from afar”, and he is conscious of having been chosen by God from his mo-
ther’s womb to carry out God’s plans of salvation even in those distant parts (cf.
vv. 1-3). Here we are told about two aspects of his mission, which we will hear
more about in the oracles that follow. First, he is to play a leading role in the re-
covery of the tribes and the repatriation of the exiles (v. 5); second, he will ex-
tend salvation to the ends of the earth (cf. v. 6).

This poem contains things that the servant has to say about himself (vv. 1-4),
and things that God says about the servant (vv. 5-6). The servant is well aware
that he was called by God, even from his mother’s womb, (like Jeremiah; cf. Jer
1:5) and has been charged with preaching to the pagan peoples (”the coast-
lands”) or at least to his compatriots in the diaspora (cf. v. 1; cf. Jer 1:1-10; 25:
13-38); he has been endowed with qualities that enable him to speak out, with
words that find their mark like arrows, even if that creates divisions (v. 2; cf. Jer
1:10); and also, despite the divine protection given him, he feels depressed and
disappointed, as happened to Jeremiah (vv. 3-4; cf. Jer 1:7; :8:18-20). Everything
that the servant does is grounded on what the Lord has told him: “You are my
servant, Israel” (v. 3). Some commentators are of the view that “Israel” here is a
later interpretation, put in to support the collectivist interpretation of the servant
that soon became widespread; but there is little evidence to support that: the
word “Israel” is missing only in one manuscript, and not an important one at that.
The mention of Israel does not argue against the servant’s being an individual ra-
ther than a collectivity, for in poetry a person can be addressed by his own name
or by his family name. In fact, both in biblical Israel and nowadays we often find
people using their place of birth as a surname.

In vv. 5-6 the Lord spells out the servant’s mission: it is to renew the people in
such a way that even non-Israelites can see the light and attain salvation. Al-
though the universal mission of the servant is not clearly defined here, for his
work is meant to be confined to the tribes of Jacob, still the achievement of this
objective (the re-assembling of Israel) will be a kind of light to help the pagan
nations see and acknowledge God. The expression “light to the nations”. (v. 6)
already occurred in the earlier poem (42:6); there it could be taken in a social
sense — to bring about the liberation of the exiles and captives; here, the reli-
gious meaning is clear: salvation will spread to all the nations.

To sum up, the servant of the Lord (be he an individual or a collectivity, or more
likely both) has been chosen by God, who loves him most specially; he has all
the main qualities of a prophet; and he must influence his compatriots so as to
enlighten those from outside, and bring them salvation.

The messianic interpretation of the servant figure, based on this second song,
was widespread among the Jews of Alexandria who made the Septuagint Greek
translation; it was also held by members of the Qumran community and by
some authors of the period between the Old and New Testaments (the author of
the “Book of Enoch”, for example). All these interpreted the servant as standing
for the entire people of Israel. Christians, from the beginning, applied the songs
of the servant to Jesus, and saw them as finding fulfillment in his life. Thus, al-
though the image of the “sharp sword” (v. 2) refers to the effectiveness of the
word of God, in Hebrews 4:12-13 we find it used with reference to Revelation as
a whole which is fully and perfectly manifested in Jesus Christ (cf. also Rev 1:16
and 2:12). We find the expression, “light to the nations” or “light to the peoples”
being applied by Simeon to Jesus (Lk 2:32). Indeed, in the Acts of the Apostles
it is applied to those who, in line with Jesus’ teaching and as cooperators in his
work of salvation, are setting out to preach to the Gentiles, as the words Paul
and Barnabas speak in the synagogue of Psidian Antioch testify: “It was neces-
sary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from
you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the
Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts
13:46-47).

Hence the Church sees her mission as spreading the truth about Jesus, the light
that enlightens everyone: “The light, of God’s face shines in all its beauty on the
countenance of Jesus Christ, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15), the ‘re-
flection of God’s glory’ (Heb 1:3), ‘full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1:14). Christ is ‘the
way, and the truth, and the life’ (Jn 14:6). [...] Jesus Christ, the ‘light of the na-
tions’, shines: upon the face of his Church, which he sends forth to the whole
world to proclaim the Gospel to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15). Hence the Church,
as the people of God among the nations, while attentive to the new challenges of
history and to mankind’s efforts to discover the meaning of life, offers to everyone
the answer which comes from the truth about Jesus Christ and his Gospel” (St.
John Paul II, “Veritatis Splendor”, 2).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 06/23/2014 8:06:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 13:22-26

Preaching in the Synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia


[In those days, Paul said:] [22] And when He had removed him, He raised up Da-
vid to be their king; of whom He testified and said, “I have found in David the son
of Jesse a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ [23] Of this man’s posterity
God has brought Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. [24] Before His coming
John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. [25] And
as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am
not He. No, but after me One is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not wor-
thy to untie.’” [26] “Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among
you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

16-41. Paul’s address here is an excellent example of the way he used to present
the Gospel to a mixed congregation of Jews and proselytes. He lists the benefits
conferred by God on the chosen people from Abraham down to John the Baptism
(verses 16-25); he then shows how all the messianic prophecies were fulfilled in
Jesus (verses 26-37), and, by way of conclusion, states that justification comes
about through faith in Jesus, who died and then rose from the dead (verse 38-41).

This address contains all the main themes of apostolic preaching, that is, God’s
saving initiative in the history of Israel (verses 17-22); reference to the Precursor
(verses 24-25); the proclamation of the Gospel or “kerygma” in the proper sense
(verses 26b-31a); mention of Jerusalem (verse 31b); arguments from Sacred
Scripture (verses 33-37), complementing apostolic teaching and tradition (verses
38-39); and a final exhortation, eschatological in character, announcing the future
(verses 40-41). In many respects this address is like those of St. Peter (cf. 2:14ff;
3:12ff), especially where it proclaims Jesus as Messiah and in its many quota-
tions from Sacred Scripture, chosen to show that the decisive event of the Resur-
rection confirms Christ’s divinity.

Paul gives a general outline of salvation history and then locates Jesus in it as
the expected Messiah, the point at which all the various strands in that history
meet and all God’s promises are fulfilled. He shows that all the steps which lead
up to Jesus Christ, even the stage of John the Baptist, are just points on a route.
Earlier, provisional elements must now, in Christ, give way to a new, definitive
situation.

“You that fear God” (v. 26): see the notes on Acts 2:5-11 and 10:2.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 06/23/2014 8:06:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:57-66, 80

The Birth and Circumcision of John the Baptist


[57] Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a
son. [58] And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great
mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. [59] And on the eighth day they came
to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father,
[60] but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” [61] And they said to
her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” [62] And they made signs to
his father, inquiring what he would have him called. [63] And he asked for a wri-
ting tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marvelled. [64] And im-
mediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing
God. [65] And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked
about through all the hill country of Judea; [66] and all who heard them laid them
up in their hearts, saying “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord
was with him.

[80] And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness
till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

59. Circumcision was a rite established by God under the Old Covenant to mark
out those who belonged to His chosen people: He commanded Abraham to insti-
tute circumcision as a sign of the Covenant He had made with him and all his de-
scendants (cf. Genesis 17:10-14), prescribing that it should be done on the eighth
day after birth. The rite was performed either at home or in the synagogue, and,
in addition to the actual circumcision, the ceremony included prayers and the na-
ming of the child.

With the institution of Christian Baptism the commandment to circumcise ceased
to apply. At the Council of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15:1ff), the Apostles definitely de-
clared that those entering the Church had no need to be circumcised.

St. Paul’s explicit teaching on the irrelevance of circumcision in the context of
the New Alliance established by Christ is to be found in Galatians 5:2ff; 6:12ff;
and Colossians 2:11ff.

60-63. By naming the child John, Zechariah complies with the instructions God
sent him through the angel (Luke 1:13).

64. This miraculous event fulfills the prophecy the angel Gabriel made to Zecha-
riah when he announced the conception and birth of the Baptist (Luke 1:19-20).
St. Ambrose observes: ‘With good reason was his tongue loosed, because faith
untied what had been tied by disbelief” (”Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam. in loc.”).

Zechariah’s is a case similar to that of St. Thomas, who was reluctant to believe
in the resurrection of our Lord, and who believed only when Jesus gave him clear
proof (cf. John 20:24-29). For these two men God worked a miracle and won their
belief; but normally He requires us to have faith and to obey Him without His wor-
king any new miracles. This was why He upbraided Zechariah and punished him,
and why He reproached Thomas: “Have you believed because you have seen Me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29).

80. “Wilderness”: this must surely refer to the “Judean wilderness” which stret-
ches from the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea to the hill country of Judea.
It is not a sand desert but rather a barren steppe with bushes and basic vegeta-
tion which suit bees and grasshoppers or wild locusts. It contains many caves
which can provide shelter.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 06/23/2014 8:07:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:


First reading

Jeremiah 1:4-10 ©

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

before you came to birth I consecrated you;

I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’

I said, ‘Ah, Lord; look, I do not know how to speak: I am a child!’

But the Lord replied,

‘Do not say, “I am a child.”

Go now to those to whom I send you

and, say whatever I command you.

Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to protect you –

it is the Lord who speaks!’

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me:

‘There! I am putting my words into your mouth.

Look, today I am setting you

over nations and over kingdoms,

to tear up and to knock down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.’


Psalm

Psalm 70:1-6,15,17 ©

My lips will tell of your help.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;

  let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me, free me:

  pay heed to me and save me.

My lips will tell of your help.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,

  a mighty stronghold to save me;

  for you are my rock, my stronghold.

Free me from the hand of the wicked.

My lips will tell of your help.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,

  my trust, O Lord, since my youth.

On you I have leaned from my birth,

  from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your help.

My lips will tell of your justice

  and day by day of your help.

O God, you have taught me from my youth

  and I proclaim your wonders still.

My lips will tell of your help.


Second reading

1 Peter 1:8-12 ©

You did not see Jesus Christ, yet you love him; and still without seeing him, you are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described, because you believe; and you are sure of the end to which your faith looks forward, that is, the salvation of your souls.

  It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn1:7;Lk1:17

Alleluia, alleluia!

He came as a witness,

as a witness to speak for the light,

preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.

Alleluia!


Gospel

Luke 1:5-17 ©

In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron. Both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord. But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.

  Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there. And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.

  Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense. The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear. But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you must name him John. He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink. Even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and he will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children and the disobedient back to the wisdom that the virtuous have, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.’

These readings are for the day of the feast itself:


First reading

Isaiah 49:1-6 ©

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.

He made my mouth a sharp sword,

and hid me in the shadow of his hand.

He made me into a sharpened arrow,

and concealed me in his quiver.

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.

I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,

my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken,

he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him,

to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,

to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;

I will make you the light of the nations

so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’


Psalm

Psalm 138:1-3,13-15 ©

I thank you for the wonder of my being.

O Lord, you search me and you know me,

  you know my resting and my rising,

  you discern my purpose from afar.

You mark when I walk or lie down,

  all my ways lie open to you.

I thank you for the wonder of my being.

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.

I thank you for the wonder of my being.

Already you knew my soul,

  my body held no secret from you

when I was being fashioned in secret

  and moulded in the depths of the earth.

I thank you for the wonder of my being.


Second reading

Acts 13:22-26 ©

Paul said: ‘God deposed Saul and made David their king, of whom he approved in these words, “I have selected David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will carry out my whole purpose.” To keep his promise, God has 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. Before John ended his career he said, “I am not the one you imagine me to be; that one is coming after me and I am not fit to undo his sandal.”

  ‘My brothers, sons of Abraham’s race, and all you who fear God, this message of salvation is meant for you.’


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Lk1:76

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!


Gospel

Luke 1:57-66,80 ©

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.

  Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. 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.

  Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.


6 posted on 06/23/2014 8:16:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
7 posted on 06/23/2014 8:17:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 06/23/2014 8:18:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve, June 21 to July 4, 2014
9 posted on 06/23/2014 8:18:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

10 posted on 06/23/2014 8:20:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

11 posted on 06/23/2014 8:21:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 06/23/2014 8:22:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


13 posted on 06/23/2014 8:23:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought its mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushed beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.


14 posted on 06/23/2014 8:24:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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June 2014 Year A

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity.

For Evangelization: That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.

15 posted on 06/23/2014 8:25:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist - Solemnity

Commentary of the day
The Syrian Liturgy
Hymn attributed to Saint Ephrem (c. 306-373), deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church

«There was a man sent by God ; his name was John... he came as a witness, to bear witness to the light» (Jn 1, 6-7)

It is you, John, we recognise to be a new Moses, since you have seen God, no longer in symbol but clearly. It is you we see to be a new Joshua: you did not cross the Jordan from one side to the other but, with the water of the Jordan, you enabled people to cross from one world to another... It is you, the new Samuel, who did not anoint David but baptized David's Son. It is you, the new David, who were not persecuted by the evil king, Saul, but who were killed by Herod. It is you, the new Elijah, who were fed in the desert, not with bread by a raven but with locusts and wild honey by God. It is you, the new Isaiah who said, not: “Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a son” (7,14), but who declared before all: “Behold, she has brought forth the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1,29)...

Blessed are you, John, chosen of God; you who put your hand on your Lord, who took into your hands the flame whose brightness makes angels tremble! Morning star (cf Nb 24,17), you have shown the true morning to the world; joyful dawn (cf. Ps 29[30],6), you have made known the day of glory; shining lamp (Jn 5,35), you have pointed to the Light without compare. Messenger of the Father's great reconciliation (Is 9,5 LXX), the archangel Gabriel was sent before you to announce you to Zachary, like a fruit in advance of its expectation... The greatest of the sons of men (Mt 11,11), you precede Emmanuel, he who is greater than all creatures; firstborn of Elizabeth, you precede the Firstborn of all creation (Col 1,15).


16 posted on 06/23/2014 8:35:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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His Majesty (the Lord) rewards great services with trials, and there can be no better reward, for out of trials springs love for God.

~~St. Teresa of Avila

17 posted on 06/23/2014 8:41:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

18 posted on 06/23/2014 8:46:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


19 posted on 06/23/2014 8:47:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint John the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist
Birth: June 24th

June 24th
Solemnity

Nativity of John the Baptist - 1523 - Rome
from The Book of Gospels, Midwest Theological Forum (see links page)

 

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist: Born six months before our Lord, Saint John the Baptist was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, our Lady's couin. He was the last and greatest of the prophets. As the forerunner of the Savior, he had the mission of preparing the Jews for the coming of Christ. When Jesus had come, Saint John bore witness to Him before his own followers and encouraged them to follow Him.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Readings for the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Collect:
O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me a polished arrow, in His quiver He hid me away. And He said to me, "You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified." But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God."

And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, and that Israel might be gathered to Him, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength-- He says: "It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
In those days, Paul said, God raised up David to be their king; of whom He testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after My heart, who will do all My will.' Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised. Before His coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. No, but after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.'

"Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:57-66, 80
Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Vigil Mass Readings for the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Collect at the Vigil Mass:
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that your family may walk in the way of salvation
and attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged,
may come safely to the One he foretold,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
'Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."

Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:8-12
Without having seen Him you love Him; though you do not now see Him you believe in Him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. As the outcome of your faith you obtain the salvation of your souls.

The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:5-17
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."


20 posted on 06/24/2014 6:47:07 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: Birth of St. John the Baptist

Feast Day: June 24

21 posted on 06/24/2014 6:50:48 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Interactive Saints for Kids

The Birth of John the Baptist

Feast Day: June 24
Born: (a few months before Jesus) :: Died: (around) 30

John's parents were Elizabeth the cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Zachary a temple priest whose job was to burn incense. Zachary and Elizabeth were quite old when one day an angel of God appeared to Zachary in the temple. The angel told him that his wife would bear a son who would be filled with the Holy Spirit at his birth. The child should be named John.

Zachary found this difficult to believe and God punished him by taking away his voice. He remained dumb until after John’s birth. Eight days after John was born his parents took him to the temple where he would be named Zachary, after his father. But both Elizabeth and Zachary asked for the child to be named John. Immediately, Zachary’s tongue was loosened and got back his voice.

John had a special job to do for God. He was going to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. So when he was still young, about twenty-seven, he went into the desert to prepare himself with silence, prayer and penance. He wore a tunic of camel hair with a leather belt and lived on wild honey and locusts (the locust tree is an evergreen that has edible bean like pods).

Soon crowds started to come to him. They realized he was a holy man. He warned them to be sorry for their sins and asked them to change their lives. He baptized them with water and gave them the baptism of repentance.

One day, Jesus himself came to John. He wanted to be baptized with John's baptism to begin making up for our sins. On that day, John told the crowds that Jesus was the Messiah, the one they had been waiting for. He told them and everyone else to follow him.

Later on, St. John learned that King Herod had married Herodias a woman who already had a husband and a daughter. This king was the son of the King Herod who had murdered all those little boys in Bethlehem. St. John told him that it was wrong for him to live with that woman.

King Herod was angry and humiliated. He locked John up in prison and John remained in a dark, damp dungeon for a long time. Then on Herod’s birthday Herodias’s daughter danced beautifully at his banquet. The delighted Herod said he would grant her any she wished. At her mother’s request, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

The shocked Herod had not choice and sent his executioner to kill John and bring back his head. When his disciples heard about it, they immediately came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Jesus said, “I am the Truth” and John died for the truth.

St. John's motto was, "Jesus must become more and more. I must become less and less." He said that he was not even worthy to loosen the strap of Jesus' sandal.


22 posted on 06/24/2014 6:55:12 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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25 Years a Priest. A Wondrous Answer to a question both ancient and modern
Pope at Mass: John the Baptist a model for the Church John the Baptist: In the Spirit and Power of Elijah (Sunday is the Solemnity of John the Baptist!)
A brief primer on St. John the Baptist, Forerunner...

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Living Faith: John the Baptizer teaches us the Way to Happiness and Freedom
SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST THE PRECURSOR
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist, an Enduring Model of Fidelity to God
Birth of John the Baptist by St Augustine
Birth of St. John the Baptist, Feast: June 24
Homilies preached by Father Robert Altier on the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist
Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist, June 24
Saints John The Baptist, Zachary and Elizabeth [THE BIRTH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST]

23 posted on 06/24/2014 9:20:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Tuesday, June 24

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St.
John the Baptist. When an angel foretold
John's birth to his father Zechariah, he
doubted the angel. For doubting the power of
God, Zechariah was unable to speak until
after his son's birth.

24 posted on 06/24/2014 2:15:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Day 192 - Does freedom mean being able to choose evil? // Is man responsible for everything he does?

But doesn't "freedom" consist of being able to choose evil as well?

Evil is only apparently worth striving for, and deciding in favor of evil only apparently makes us free. Evil does not make us happy but rather deprives us of what is truly good; it chains us to something futile and in the end destroys our freedom entirely.

We see this in addiction: Here a person sells his freedom to something that appears good to him. In reality he becomes a slave. Man is freest when he is always able to say Yes to the good; when no addiction, no compulsion, no habit prevents him from choosing and doing what is right and good. A decision in favor of the good is always a decision leading toward God.


Is man responsible for everything he does?

Man is responsible for everything he does consciously and voluntarily.

No one can be held (fully) responsible for something he did under coercion, out of fear, ignorance, under the influence of drugs or the power of bad habits. The more a person knows about the good and practices the good, the more he moves away from the slavery of sin (Rom 6:17; 1 Cor 7:22). God desires that such free persons should (be able to) take responsibility for themselves, for their environment, and for the whole earth. But all of God's merciful love is also for those who are not free; every day he offers them an opportunity to allow themselves to be set free for freedom. (YOUCAT questions 287, 288)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1730-1737) and other references here.


25 posted on 06/24/2014 2:49:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Part 3: Life in Christ (1691 - 2557)

Section 1: Man's Vocation — Life in the Spirit (1699 - 2051)

Chapter 1: The Dignity of the Human Person (1700 - 1876)

Article 3: Man's Freedom (1730 - 1748)

30
(all)

1730

God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be 'left in the hand of his own counsel,' so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."26 Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27

26.

GS 17; Sir 15:14.

27.

St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,4,3:PG 7/1,983.

I. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

1721
(all)

1731

Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

1849
2006
396
(all)

1732

As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.

1803
(all)

1733

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."28

28.

Cf. Rom 6:17.

1036
1804
(all)

1734

Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts.

597
(all)

1735

Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

2568
(all)

1736

Every act directly willed is imputable to its author: Thus the Lord asked Eve after the sin in the garden: "What is this that you have done?"29 He asked Cain the same question.30 The prophet Nathan questioned David in the same way after he committed adultery with the wife of Uriah and had him murdered.31

An action can be indirectly voluntary when it results from negligence regarding something one should have known or done: for example, an accident arising from ignorance of traffic laws.

29.

Gen 3:13.

30.

Cf. Gen 4:10.

31.

Cf. 2 Sam 12:7-15.

2263
(all)

1737

An effect can be tolerated without being willed by its agent; for instance, a mother's exhaustion from tending her sick child. A bad effect is not imputable if it was not willed either as an end or as a means of an action, e.g., a death a person incurs in aiding someone in danger. For a bad effect to be imputable it must be foreseeable and the agent must have the possibility of avoiding it, as in the case of manslaughter caused by a drunken driver. >


26 posted on 06/24/2014 2:50:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:June 24, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your family may walk in the way of salvation and, attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged, may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Baptist Cakes

o    Chiresaye (Cherry Pudding Decorated with Flowers)

o    Empanadas

o    Empanadas de Orno

o    Finnish Pancakes

o    Tacos

o    Tortillas de Harina

o    Welsh Rarebit

o    Winster Wake Cakes

ACTIVITIES

o    Bonfire for the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

o    Customs of the Vigil and Birth of St. John the Baptist

o    Door Decoration for the Eve of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

o    Family and Friends of Jesus Scrapbook Album

o    Feasts of Saint John the Baptist

o    Hymn: Ut queant laxis (text)

o    Ideas for the Feast of the Birth St. John the Baptist

o    Johannesfeuer

o    Namedays

o    Religion in the Home for Preschool: June

o    St. John the Baptist's Day

o    St. John's Eve

o    St. John's Eve Bonfire

o    The Birth of Saint John the Baptist

o    The Story of St. John the Baptist

o    Ut queant laxis hymn description

o    What is a Nameday?

PRAYERS

o    June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

o    Blessing of a Bonfire on the Vigil of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist from Roman Ritual

o    Litany of St. John the Baptist

LIBRARY

o    John the Baptist, an Enduring Model of Fidelity to God | Pope John Paul II

o    Martyrdom of St John the Baptist | Pope Benedict XVI

·         Ordinary Time: June 24th

·         Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

Old Calendar: Nativity of St. John the Baptist ; Other Titles: Johannistag

This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today's feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today's observance in the following words:

"Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior's birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God's chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace."

In other words, today's feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ's Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

The Christmas season has for its object the mystery of God-become-Man, to which there is reference only now and then during the remaining part of the year, e.g., on Marian feasts, especially that of the Annunciation (March 25) and today's feast in honor of the Baptist. In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ's incarnation today. The birth of Jesus is observed on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice, while the birth of His forerunner is observed six months earlier at the time of the summer solstice. Christmas is a "light" feast; the same is true today. The popular custom centering about "St. John's Fire" stems from soundest Christian dogma and could well be given renewed attention. St. John's Fire symbolizes Christ the Light; John was a lamp that burned and shone. We Christians should be the light of the world.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


St. John the Baptist

We are given the story of the ministry of John the Baptist, called the Precursor or Forerunner of the Lord, with some variation of detail, in the three synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as well as in the Book of John. Luke tells us of the birth of John the Baptist in a town of Judaea, about six months before the birth of the Saviour. The attendant circumstances, which we have already recounted under the headings of and , his parents, suggest the miraculous and wonderful. The New Testament tells us nothing of John's early years, but we know that his pious, virtuous parents must have reared the boy with care, conscious always of the important work to which he was appointed, and imbuing him with a sense of his destiny.

When John began final preparations for his mission, he was probably in his thirty-second year. He withdrew into the harsh, rocky desert beyond the Jordan to fast and pray, as was the ancient custom of holy men. We are told that he kept himself alive by eating locusts and wild honey and wore a rough garment of camel's hair, tied with a leathern girdle. When he came back to start preaching in the villages of Judaea, he was haggard and uncouth, but his eyes burned with zeal and his voice carried deep conviction. The Jews were accustomed to preachers and prophets who gave no thought to outward appearances, and they accepted John at once; the times were troubled, and the people yearned for reassurance and comfort. So transcendant was the power emanating from the holy man that after hearing him many believed he was indeed the long-awaited Messiah. John quickly put them right, saying he had come only to prepare the way, and that he was not worthy to unloose the Master's sandals. Although his preaching and baptizing continued for some months during the Saviour's own ministry, John always made plain that he was merely the Forerunner. His humility remained incorruptible even when his fame spread to Jerusalem and members of the higher priesthood came to make inquiries and to hear him. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,"-this was John's oft-repeated theme. For the evils of the times his remedy was individual purification. "Every tree," he said, "that is not bringing forth good fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire." The reformation of each person's life must be complete—the wheat must be separated from the chaff and the chaff burned "with unquenchable fire."

The rite of baptism, a symbolic act signifying sincere repentance as well as a desire to be spiritually cleansed in order to receive the Christ, was so strongly emphasized by John that people began to call him "the baptizer." The Scriptures tell us of the day when Jesus joined the group of those who wished to receive baptism at John's hands. John knew Jesus for the Messiah they had so long expected, and at first excused himself as unworthy. Then, in obedience to Jesus, he acquiesced and baptized Him. Although sinless, Jesus chose to be baptized in order to identify Himself with the human lot. And when He arose from the waters of the Jordan, where the rite was performed, "the heavens opened and the Spirit as a dove descended. And there came a voice from the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased" (Mark i, 11).

John's life now rushes on towards its tragic end. In the fifteenth year of the reign of the Roman emperor, Tiberias Caesar, Herod Antipas was the provincial governor or tetrarch of a subdivision of Palestine which included Galilee and Peraea, a district lying east of the Jordan. In the course of John's preaching, he had denounced in unmeasured terms the immorality of Herod's petty court, and had even boldly upbraided Herod to his face for his defiance of old Jewish law, especially in having taken to himself the wife of his half-brother, Philip. This woman, the dissolute Herodias, was also Herod's niece. Herod feared and reverenced John, knowing him to be a holy man, and he followed his advice in many matters; but he could not endure having his private life castigated. Herodias stimulated his anger by lies and artifices. His resentment at length got the better of his judgment and he had John cast into the fortress of Machaerus, near the Dead Sea. When Jesus heard of this, and knew that some of His disciples had gone to see John, He spoke thus of him: "What went you to see? A prophet? Yea, I say to you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say to you, amongst those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist" (Matthew xi, 10-12).

Herodias never ceased plotting against the life of John, who was not silenced even by prison walls. His followers now became even more turbulent. To Herodias soon came the opportunity she had long sought to put an end to the trouble-maker. On Herod's birthday he gave a feast for the chief men of that region. In Matthew xiv, Mark vi, and Luke ix, we are given parallel accounts of this infamous occasion which was to culminate in John's death. At the feast, Salome, fourteen-year-old daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod and his guests so much by her dancing that Herod promised on oath to give her anything that it was in his power to give, even though it should amount to half his kingdom. Salome, acting under the direction and influence of her wicked mother, answered that she wished to have the head of John the Baptist, presented to her on a platter. Such a horrible request shocked and unnerved Herod. Still, he had given his word and was afraid to break it. So, with no legal formalities whatever, he dispatched a soldier to the prison with orders to behead the prisoner and return with it immediately. This was quickly done, and the cruel girl did not hesitate to accept the dish with its dreadful offering and give it to her mother. John's brief ministry was thus terminated by a monstrous crime. There was great sadness among the people who had hearkened to him, and when the disciples of Jesus heard the news of John's death, they came and took the body and laid it reverently in a tomb. Jesus, with some of his disciples, retired "to a desert place apart," to mourn.

The Jewish historian Josephus, giving further testimony of John's holiness, writes: "He was indeed a man endued with all virtue, who exhorted the Jews to the practice of justice towards men and piety towards God; and also to baptism, preaching that they would become acceptable to God if they renounced their sins, and to the cleanness of their bodies added purity of soul." Thus Jews and Christians unite in reverence and love for this prophet-saint whose life is an incomparable example of both humility and courage.

Excerpted from Lives of the Saints, Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.

Patron: Baptism; bird dealers; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; hail; hailstorms; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Maltese Knights; lovers; monastic life; motorways; printers, spasms; tailors; Genoa, Italy; Quebec; Sassano, Italy; Diocese of Savannah, Georgia; Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Diocese of Portland, Maine.

Symbols: Lamb; lamb on a book of seven seals; locust; camel's hair tunic; girdle; his head on a charger; scroll with words Ecce Agnus Dei or with Vox Clamantis in deserto; long, slender cross-tipped staff; open Bible; banner of victory.

Things to Do:

At the same time with the temporal cycle, the Sanctoral cycle (from the Latin sanctus which means saint) progresses. The Church honors Mary, Mother of God "with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son" (CCC 1172). Then the memorials of martyrs and other saints are kept by the Church. They are held up to us as examples "who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors" (CCC 1173).

This is one of the few saint feast days that is connected with the temporal calendar, not the sanctoral calendar, because John the Baptist was intimately involved in Christ's work of redemption. Charting or making your own liturgical calendar would be a great family project.

St. John is the protector of lovers, so for fun, young country girls in Brazil will roll up scraps of paper, each bearing a name of a single girl and place them into a bowl of water. The first one which unfolds indicates the girl who will marry first.


27 posted on 06/24/2014 3:07:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 1:57-66, 80

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

The child grew and became strong in spirit. (Luke 1:80)

What do you think is the most impressive thing about John the Baptist? His uncompromising zeal for the Lord? His clear, passionate preaching? Maybe his gift of self-denial or the humility he displayed despite his fame?

How about this instead? That even as a fetus, John leaped for joy in the presence of Mary and Jesus. Imagine: here was an unborn baby, barely aware of life outside of the womb, and yet the muffled sound of Mary’s greeting when she visited Elizabeth filled him with the Holy Spirit and caused such a joy-filled reaction!

John’s leap may remind us of Isaac’s wife, Rebecca, who also felt an unusual amount of activity from the twins in her womb. Rebecca asked the Lord why this was happening, and he told her that something spiritual and prophetic was going on inside of her (Genesis 25:20-23). King David also leaped before the ark of the covenant. He loved God so much he could not contain his joy at seeing the ark of God’s presence finally brought home safely to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-15). The prophet Isaiah wrote that in the age to come, when the glory of the Lord is made manifest, even the lame will leap for joy (Isaiah 35:4-6).

All of these dramatic displays show us that there is a part of us that can recognize God, regardless of what we do or who we are. It’s encoded into the way he made us. This ability to recognize the Lord is not limited to unborn babies or great saints. It’s in all of us, and it’s something that the Holy Spirit wants to bring to life so that we too can recognize Jesus more deeply—and rejoice in his presence.

So let’s join John the Baptist and leap for joy. After all, Jesus is present to us just as he was to John—and even more so, since we have been baptized into his life. Let’s tell Jesus how happy we are that he has redeemed us. Let’s praise him for his mercy and his healing power. More than anything else, let’s rejoice that we belong to him, and he belongs to us!

“Lord, I am so glad you live in me. Your love is so strong that it makes me want to sing and dance in your presence. Jesus, I love you!”

Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15; Acts 13:22-26


28 posted on 06/24/2014 3:20:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST [LUKE 1:57-66,80]

Zechariah and Elizabeth

Zechariah and Elizabeth wanted so much to have a child, especially as they watched their neighbors’ families grow. But as deep as their desire was, God wanted their faith in him to become deeper still. This is, in part, the fruit of their long years of waiting of the the Lord to fulfill their dreams. Day by day, as they prayed for a child, they were challenged to continue to hope in God. Every day, they faced the question, “Is God trustworthy? Does He love us? Will He provide for us?” And, every time they answered “yes” to these questions, their faith grew a little stronger.

When Zechariah was struck mute by the angel (Luke 1:20), he entered an intense time of blessing from the Lord. God wanted to teach him so that Zechariah could then teach his son what it meant to rely on God. When John was born, Zechariah’s response bore witness to the fruit of his nine months of silence. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he proclaimed God’s faithfulness and prophesied great blessings over his son.

YOHANES PEMBAPTIS DIBERI NAMA - 000

How important this time was for Zechariah – and for the whole of salvation history! John was destined to spend years alone in the desert, listening to God and awaiting the time when he should appear and announce the Messiah’s coming. Then, when he was imprisoned by Herod and awaiting his fate, John again needed to be sustained by all that God had promised. Where did he learn such patience and trust, if not from Zechariah and Elizabeth?

We all have unfulfilled desires and hopes. As beloved children of God, we must never give up hope. We can place our full confidence in the One who called us by name and hears every prayer that springs from our hearts. As we wait on the Lord, let us ask Him to mold our characters and make us more like Him. In the end, we will find that His plan was far better than our own. We will be able to proclaim with Zechariah that it was not by human power but by divine power that wonderful things have taken place in our lives.

29 posted on 06/24/2014 3:27:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for June 24, 2014:

John the Baptist leapt in the womb when Mary greeted his mother, Elizabeth. What a joyful scene! Pray for couples expecting children today, and for those who await this blessing.

30 posted on 06/24/2014 3:36:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for June 24, 2014:

John the Baptist leapt in the womb when Mary greeted his mother, Elizabeth. What a joyful scene! Pray for couples expecting children today, and for those who await this blessing.

31 posted on 06/24/2014 3:37:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

John: A Burning and Shining Lamp

Monday, 23 June 2014 17:55

Ah, I Cannot Speak

At Matins today, the stammering words of the prophet Jeremias are placed in the mouth of the Saint John the Baptist: “Ah, ah, ah, Lord God; behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child” (Jeremias 1:6). At Holy Mass, the words of the prophet Isaias are used in the same way. This is the liturgy’s way of telling us that John is the greatest of the prophets, greater than Isaias and Jeremias put together, and that he is more than a prophet.

Called From the Womb

John’s mysterious greatness in the plan of salvation is no mere human choice; it is something divine in origin. Saint John himself said, “A man cannot receive any thing, unless it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27). “The Lord,” he says, “hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother he hath been mindful of my name” (Is 49:1). This certainty makes the Baptist very humble. He does not want to be mistaken for more than he really is. “You yourselves do bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not Christ, but that I am sent before him’” (John 3:28).

And Thou, Child

From his tender childhood John knows that he is sent before One who is greater than himself. John’s father, the priest Zacharias, must have repeated to him many times over what he sang under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the eighth day after his birth: “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways” (Luke 1:76-77). In the monastic tradition, the same text is chanted at the clothing of a novice. John the Baptist remains, for all time, the model of the monk: child, prophet, herald, and friend of the Bridegroom.

I Knew Thee in the Desert

Saint Luke tells us that John grew and became strong in spirit and lived hidden in the wilderness, anticipating the moment set by God for his appearance to Israel. We can only wonder what transpired between the young prophet and the God of Israel during those years of hidden life in the desert. John, like Jesus, is prepared for his mission by years of silence, far from the multitudes and the tumult of the cities. We are reminded of the words of Osee, “Thou shalt know no God but me, and there is no Saviour beside me. I knew thee in the desert, in the land of the wilderness” (Osee 13:4-5). The earliest hermits and monks of the Church looked to Saint John the desert-dweller as their model and advocate. John is the friend of all those who seek the Face of God in silence; he is the friend of those who live a humble life, “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

The Great Responsory at First Vespers plays on the word eremus; it means both desert and hermitage or monastery. It suggests that the role of Saint John the Baptist remains actual, especially in the context of the eremitical or cenobitical monastic life. His is “the voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (Mark 1:3).

Silence and Adoration

When, after years of preparation in the desert, John speaks, he does so out of a profound interior silence, and it is that causes his words to flash like fire bringing sinners to repentance. In Orientale Lumen, Pope Saint John Paul II insisted on the necessity of silence for all Christians:

We must confess that we all have need of this silence, filled with the presence of Him who is adored; in theology, so as to exploit fully its own sapiential and spiritual soul; in prayer, so that we may never forget that seeing God means coming down the mountain with a face so radiant that we are obliged to cover it with a veil (cf. Exodus 34:33), and that our gatherings may make room for God’s presence and avoid self-celebration; in preaching, so as not to delude ourselves that it is enough to heap word upon word to attract people to the experience of God; in commitment, so that we will refuse to be locked in a struggle without love and forgiveness. This is what man needs today; he is often unable to be silent for fear of meeting himself, of feeling the emptiness that asks itself about meaning; man who deafens himself with noise. All, believers and non-believers alike, need to learn a silence that allows the Other to speak when and how he wishes, and allows us to understand his words. (OL 16)

The Desert: A School of Humility

Silence prepared and sustained the preaching of Saint John the Baptist; and it was in silence, in the mysterious encounter with the Lord of the desert that John became profoundly humble. Humility is not an attitude that can be improvised and cultivated from without. Humility blossoms from within. True humility, Christian humility is the fruit of the experience of God, an experience that throws us to the ground with our foreheads in the dust, an experience that fills us with the spirit of adoration. The link between humility and adoration cannot be emphasized enough. The adoring soul will be humble; the humble soul will adore. John emerges from the silence of the desert a profoundly humble man. In the desert he came face to face with God and everything in him became adoration.

Friend of the Bridegroom

Saint John insists that his mission is one of humble preparation: “I am not he whom you think me to be: but behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose” (Acts 13:25). The people are impressed by this wild-looking prophet who comes out of years of silence and austerity in the desert. John dispels all ambiguity concerning his own person. “I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom” (John 3:29). Even when admiring crowds gather around him and respond to his word, John remains utterly lucid. His humility is not swayed; he is at the service of the Bridegroom, and to the Bridegroom alone belongs the bride.

Joy Fulfilled

Saint John gives himself the most beautiful title to which a servant of Christ, especially a priest, can aspire. John is the friend of the Bridegroom. “The friend of the bridegroom,” he says, “who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice. This my joy, therefore, is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30).

A Burning and Shining Lamp

The vocation of John, the humble friend of the Bridegroom, was to be visible only for a time. “He was a burning and shining lamp,” says Our Lord, “and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light” (John 5:35). John’s shining light was to be hidden away in the darkness of a prison cell. The Bridegroom had arrived; the Friend of the Bridegroom had to disappear. The voice of John the Baptist had been heard crying in the wilderness, denouncing sin, calling men to justice and sinners to repentance. But, then, the voice of the Eternal Father was heard, coming from heaven: “Thou art my Son, the Beloved; with thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). After this, the voice of the Baptist was heard less and less, until finally, it was silenced by death, a cruel and ignominious death not unlike the immolation of the Lamb which it prefigured.

Witness to the Light

Today’s solemnity confirms and deepens the monastic call to silence and to humility. Graced from the womb of his mother in view of an extraordinary mission, Saint John the Baptist served the designs of the Father for the length of time and in the place determined by the Father’s loving providence. “Sent from God, he came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light” (John 1:6-8).

Mysterious and Unexpected Turns

John the Baptist knew that he was destined to return to the hidden life, to a life of silence and obscurity, like the grain of wheat which falls into the earth and dies in order to bear much fruit (Jn 12:24). He shows us that every vocation is subject to mysterious and unexpected turns and yes, every vocation is subject to the mystery of the Cross, sometimes in dramatic ways, but more often in the humble obscurity of day to day existence. These things are necessary if we are to decrease and allow the Lord Jesus to increase. To each one of us, Saint John the Baptist says: “Prepare to disappear.”

The Imprint of the Lamb

Saint John the Baptist shows us that the hidden and silent life is a necessary and inescapable part of discipleship. A vocation that is not marked with the sign of the Cross is suspect. A life that is without its moments of obscurity, silence and apparent uselessness, does not bear the imprint of the Lamb. The more a soul is surrendered to the love of the Bridegroom, the more deeply will that soul be marked by the Cross.

Marked By the Cross

Ultimately, the sign of the authenticity of the mission of Saint John the Baptist is his participation in the Passion and Cross of Jesus, in Jesus’ paschal humiliation, in Jesus’ going down into the valley of the shadow of death. And the sign that any vocation is blessed by God is that it is marked by the Cross.


32 posted on 06/24/2014 4:24:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

I set thee apart for myself

Monday, 23 June 2014 18:11

“I claimed thee for my own before ever I fashioned thee in thy mother’s womb; before ever thou camest to birth, I set thee apart for myself” (Jeremias 1:5).

The Word of God, Alive and Full of Energy

This word from God uttered in mystery long ago, and received in faith by the prophet Jeremias, and applied, by a splendid intuition of the Church to Saint John the Baptist, becomes today, by the singular grace of this Holy Mass, a word addressed to each of us, to you and to me.

The word of God is not uttered once and for all, and then, locked away, as it were, in some sort of sacred archive. When the word of God is proclaimed in the sacred liturgy, it rises to newness of life; it is invested with a wondrous energy; it becomes efficacious, doing in us that for which it comes forth from the mouth of God. Thus do we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “God’s word to us is something alive, full of energy; it can penetrate deeper than any two-edged sword, reaching the very division between soul and spirit, between joints and marrow, quick to distinguish every thought and design in our hearts: (Hebrews 4:12). I beg you, then, in the words of the psalmist: “Would you but listen to his voice today! Do not harden your hearts” (Psalm 94:8).

Claimed and Set Apart by God

It is to you, then, that the Word of God comes today. It is addressed directly to each of you, a blazing arrow shot from the heart of God into your hearts: “I claimed thee for my own before ever I fashioned thee in thy mother’s womb; before ever thou camest to birth, I set thee apart for myself” (Jeremias 1:5).

Vocation

What is a vocation? It is the unfolding of a mysterious design of God and a gracious summons of His mercy. Implicit in the Church’s doctrine of the universal call to holiness — that is, that you and I are called to be saints, nothing less than saints — are these astonishing truths: God claimed you — you — for His own before ever he fashioned you in your mother’s womb. Before ever you came to birth, God set you apart for Himself. This is the divine message that shapes one’s journey through life, and gives it meaning.

The Call to Holiness

Holiness cannot be stereotyped. Holiness comes in a splendid variety of forms, and colours. There is no age, no state in life, no occupation, no background, no place, nor race, nor culture that is, of itself, foreign to holiness. We, therefore have no excuse. God would have each us become a saint. To resist the call to holiness is to resist the will of God. “This is the will of God,” says the Apostle, “your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

Under the Hand of God

We heard, concerning John the Baptist, in the Holy Gospel: “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). Submit, then, to the hand of the Lord today, by placing yourselves humbly and willingly under the immense, and tender, and powerful liturgy of His Church. Open your eyes, your ears, and all your senses to every word uttered, to every note sung, to every gesture, and movement, and to the sacred silence which envelops this Mass and allows for the penetration of its particular grace into the most secret place of your souls.

Ready to Appear Openly

It will happen with you, as it happened with Saint John the Forerunner. You will grow up into holiness. Your spirit will mature. At the hour prepared by God, you will be ready to appear openly, not to Israel, as did Saint John over two-thousand years ago, but to Ireland today, just as it is, beset by dire predictions of the end of Catholicism — as men and women called to nothing less than holiness. “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

To the Altar of the Lamb

All of this begins — and all of it must return — to the altar of the Holy Sacrifice. There, the Lamb is immolated; there the Lamb is offered; there the Lamb is given us as food and drink. It is time to hasten to the altar, for I hear the voice of the Baptist, the “Friend of the Bridegroom” (John 3:29), saying, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:36).


33 posted on 06/24/2014 4:34:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

What´s in a Name?.
2014-06-24
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY


Luke 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, "No. He will be called John." But they answered her, "There is no one among your relatives who has this name." So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his name," and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I make this effort at prayer for the sake of my soul and the souls of my loved ones. I believe that you died for us and want us to be with you forever in heaven.

Petition: Grant me new respect, Lord, for parents.

1. Bundle of Joy: The arrival of a new baby has been a source of joy throughout the ages. Babies are God´s way of saying the world should go on. Each new child reflects a facet of the infinite beauty and mystery of God. And by teaching us patience and selflessness, the little ones help us grow in holiness. In their childlike simplicity they teach us to remain simple. Their neediness can, and should, soften our hearts. They don´t even have to be our own children; we can feel an obligation to help all kids, since their lives enrich all of us. What have I done lately to help the little ones, born and unborn? Is there a crisis-pregnancy center that could use help? Have I spoken well of parents who are open to large families?

2. God´s Choice: For the ancient Jews a name captured, even defined, a person´s identity. So for Elizabeth to name her son "John" was significant. It showed her recognition of God´s great plan for the child. John was in the Almighty´s special care from the start. Even today, each and every child is loved by God and has a destiny in the heavenly Father´s plan. Each has a vocation, a calling, in the Church. Do I appreciate the role that little ones have in God´s plans? Do I respect their dignity? Or do I try to impose my prejudices on them? They are tomorrow´s adults. How will I want them to remember my example?

3. Loosened Lips: Zechariah had doubted God and was struck mute. He regains his speech only after publicly accepting God´s plan and allowing his newborn son to take the name John. We, too, might have a bit of Zechariah in us. We resist God, only to hit a dead end. Bad friendships, habits of serious sin, rising despair – all of these can eat away at us. Yet, repentance is slow to come. Why? "We think that evil is basically good," said Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI (December 8, 2005). "We think that we need it, at least a little, in order to experience the fullness of being. … If we look, however, at the world that surrounds us we can see that this is not so; in other words, that evil is always poisonous, does not uplift human beings, but degrades and humiliates them." Am I resisting God´s plans?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you have put family members and other loved ones in my life for a reason. I´m to help them get to heaven, and they are to help me do the same. Remind me of this truth, and help me in a special way not to interfere with the plans you have for the children in my life.

Resolution: I will pray a decade of the rosary that all my family members reach heaven

34 posted on 06/24/2014 4:40:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Homily of the Day

Parents often are concerned about how their children will turn out to be when they grow up. They have so much hope for them and sometimes they create an image of what they want their kids to be in the future. At the same time they also have fears of what could hinder their child’s growth and development.

In the gospel, people were asking one another about John the Baptist, “What will this child turn out to be?” But his parents knew that God had a plan for him because of the mysterious things that occurred before his birth. So they put the life of their son in God’s hands. We all know that John would become the Precursor of the Messiah, that he would baptize Jesus in the Jordan River and do many great things. But what John did first before he embarked on his mission was to go to the desert and live there. This great man chose to live a very hard life in preparation for his ministry of calling people to conversion. John took the narrow path and that is why aside from

Jesus and Mary, he is the only other saint whose birth is celebrated by the Catholic Church.
So if you are still wondering what your child will turn out to be, you might consider letting him take the path of John the Baptist. Allow him/her to become a servant leader who might have to suffer much opposition for doing what is right in front of God. Of course we all want our kids to become rich and famous, but if they desire to serve people as their life’s work, by all means let them do so. Then we can proudly say that we are the parents of this boy or girl who made a difference in the world.


35 posted on 06/24/2014 5:00:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 4

<< Tuesday, June 24, 2014 >> Birth of St. John the Baptizer
 
Isaiah 49:1-6
Acts 13:22-26

View Readings
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Luke 1:57-66, 80

Similar Reflections
 

YOU AND THE NATIONS

 
"I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." —Isaiah 49:6
 

God has raised up multitudes of incredibly zealous and dedicated people who for years have passed on One Bread, One Body to others because of their love of God's Word and of Holy Mass. Through God's grace, these teachings "become known afar off" (Sir 24:30) and, incredibly, reach many throughout the world. The Lord has raised up others who type, edit, print, post, and link these teachings for the world to read. All of these blessed people are "a light to the nations." God has enabled our humble ministry to "reach to the ends of the earth" (Is 49:6).

What about you? Do you consider yourself too insignificant for Almighty God to use powerfully? We are all unworthy to serve Jesus (Acts 13:25), but that doesn't stop God from using us powerfully. You are, like St. John the Baptizer, a prophet by virtue of your baptism (Catechism, 1268). You are even greater than John because of your faith in Jesus (Mt 11:11). God is telling you: "You are My servant...through whom I show My glory" (Is 49:3). Allow the Lord to shine through you as He wills.

 
Prayer: Father, I am totally Yours. Be glorified through my life.
Promise: "His mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God." —Lk 1:64
Praise: St. John the Baptizer gave encouragement to his mother and praise to his Savior even before he was born.

36 posted on 06/24/2014 5:05:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

37 posted on 06/24/2014 5:23:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Nova Vulgata Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
57 Now Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. Elisabeth autem impletum est tempus pariendi, et peperit filium. τη δε ελισαβετ επλησθη ο χρονος του τεκειν αυτην και εγεννησεν υιον
58 And her neighbours and kinsfolks heard that the Lord had shewed his great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. Et audierunt vicini et cognati eius quia magnificavit Dominus misericordiam suam cum illa, et congratulabantur ei. και ηκουσαν οι περιοικοι και οι συγγενεις αυτης οτι εμεγαλυνεν κυριος το ελεος αυτου μετ αυτης και συνεχαιρον αυτη
59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father's name Zachary. Et factum est, in die octavo venerunt circumcidere puerum et vocabant eum nomine patris eius, Zachariam. και εγενετο εν τη ογδοη ημερα ηλθον περιτεμειν το παιδιον και εκαλουν αυτο επι τω ονοματι του πατρος αυτου ζαχαριαν
60 And his mother answering, said: Not so; but he shall be called John. Et respondens mater eius dixit: “ Nequaquam, sed vocabitur Ioannes ”. και αποκριθεισα η μητηρ αυτου ειπεν ουχι αλλα κληθησεται ιωαννης
61 And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. Et dixerunt ad illam: “ Nemo est in cognatione tua, qui vocetur hoc nomine ”. και ειπον προς αυτην οτι ουδεις εστιν εν τη συγγενεια σου ος καλειται τω ονοματι τουτω
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. Innuebant autem patri eius quem vellet vocari eum. ενενευον δε τω πατρι αυτου το τι αν θελοι καλεισθαι αυτον
63 And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered. Et postulans pugillarem scripsit dicens: “ Ioannes est nomen eius ”. Et mirati sunt universi. και αιτησας πινακιδιον εγραψεν λεγων ιωαννης εστιν το ονομα αυτου και εθαυμασαν παντες
64 And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. Apertum est autem ilico os eius et lingua eius, et loquebatur benedicens Deum. ανεωχθη δε το στομα αυτου παραχρημα και η γλωσσα αυτου και ελαλει ευλογων τον θεον
65 And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea. Et factus est timor super omnes vicinos eorum, et super omnia montana Iudaeae divulgabantur omnia verba haec. και εγενετο επι παντας φοβος τους περιοικουντας αυτους και εν ολη τη ορεινη της ιουδαιας διελαλειτο παντα τα ρηματα ταυτα
66 And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. Et posuerunt omnes, qui audierant, in corde suo dicentes: “ Quid putas puer iste erit? ”. Etenim manus Domini erat cum illo. και εθεντο παντες οι ακουσαντες εν τη καρδια αυτων λεγοντες τι αρα το παιδιον τουτο εσται και χειρ κυριου ην μετ αυτου
[...]
80 And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel. Puer autem crescebat et confortabatur spiritu et erat in deserto usque in diem ostensionis suae ad Israel. το δε παιδιον ηυξανεν και εκραταιουτο πνευματι και ην εν ταις ερημοις εως ημερας αναδειξεως αυτου προς τον ισραηλ

38 posted on 06/24/2014 5:38:52 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
57. Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shown great mercy upon her and they rejoiced with her.

AMBROSE; If you carefully observe, you will find that the word signifying fullness is no where used except at the birth of the righteous. Hence it is said, Now Elisabeth's full time came. For the life of the righteous has fullness, but the days of the wicked are empty.

CHRYS. And for that reason the Lord kept back the delivery of Elisabeth, that her joy might be increased, and her fame the greater. Hence it follows, And her neighbors and cousins heard, &c. For they who had known her barrenness were made the witnesses of the Divine grace, and no one seeing the child departed in silence, but gave praise to God, Who had vouchsafed him beyond their expectation.

AMBROSE; For the bringing forth of saints causes the rejoicing of many; it is a common blessing; for justice is a public virtue, and therefore at the birth of a just man a sign of hi future life is sent beforehand and, the grace of the virtue which is to follow is represented, being foreshadowed by the rejoicing of the neighbors.

59. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61. And they said to her, There is none of the kindred that is called by this name.
62. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote saying, His name is John. And they marveled all.
64. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, and praised God.

CHRYS. The rite of circumcision was first delivered to Abraham as a sign of distinction, that the race of the Patriarch might be preserved in unmixed purity, and so might be able to obtain the promises. But now that the promise of the covenant is fulfilled, the sign attached to it is removed. So then through Christ circumcision ceased, and baptism came in its place; but first it was right that John should be circumcised; as it is said, And it came to pass, that on the eighth day, &c. For the Lord had said, Let the child of eight days be circumcised among you. But this measurement of time I conceive was ordered by Divine mercy for two reasons. First, because in its most tender years the child the more easily bears the cutting of the flesh. Secondly, that from the very operation itself we might be reminded that it was done for a sign; for the young child scarcely distinguishes any of the things that are around him. But after the circumcision, the name was conferred, as it follows, And they called him. But this was done because we must first receive the seal of the Lord, then the name of man. Or, because no man except he first cast aside his fleshly lusts, which circumcision signifies, is worthy to have his name written in the book of life.

AMBROSE; The holy Evangelist has especially remarked, that many thought the child should be called after his father Zacharias, in order that we might understand, not that any name of his kinsfolk was displeasing to his mother, but that the same word had been communicated to her by the Holy Spirit, which had been foretold by the Angel to Zacharias. And in truth, being dumb, Zacharias was unable to mention his son's name to his wife, but Elisabeth obtained by prophecy what she had not learnt from her husband. Hence it follows, And she answered, &c. Marvel not that the woman pronounced the name which she had never heard, seeing the Holy Spirit who imparted it to the Angel revealed it to her; nor could she be ignorant of the forerunner of the Lord, who had prophesied of Christ.

And it well follows, And they said to her, &c. that you might consider that the name belongs not to the family, but to the Prophet. Zacharias also is questioned, and signs made to him, as it follows,

And they made signs to the father, &c. But since unbelief had so bereft him of utterance and hearing, that he could not use his voice, he spoke by his hand-writing, as it follows,

And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John; that is, we give no name to him who has received his name from God.

ORIGEN; Zacharias is by interpretation "remembering God," but John signifies "pointing to." Now "memory" relates to something absent, "pointing to," to something present. But John was not about to set forth the memory of God as absent, but with his finger to point him out as present, saying, Behold the Lamb of God.

CHRYS. But the name John is also interpreted the grace of God. Because then by the favor of Divine grace not by nature, Elisabeth conceived this son, they engraved the memory of the benefit on the name of the child.

THEOPHYL. And because with the mother the dumb father also agreed as to the name of the child, it follows, And they all marveled. For there was no one of this name among their kinsfolk that any one could say that they had both previously determined upon it.

GREG. NAZ. The birth of John then broke the silence of Zacharias, as it follows, And his mouth was opened. For it were unreasonable when the voice of the Word had come forth, that his father should remain speechless.

AMBROSE; Rightly also, from that moment was his tongue loosed for that which unbelief had bound, faith set free. Let us then also believe, in order that our tongue, which has been bound by the chains of unbelief, may be loosed by the voice of reason. Let us write mysteries by the Spirit if we wish to speak. Let us write the forerunner of Christ, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of the heart. For he who names John, prophesies Christ. For he who names John prophesies Christ. For it follows, And he spoke, giving thanks.

THEOPHYL; Now in an allegory, the celebration of John's birth was the beginning of the grace of the New Covenant. His neighbors and kinsfolk had rather give him the name of his father than that of John. For the Jews, who by the observance of the Law were united to him as it were by ties of kindred, chose rather to follow the righteousness which is the Law, than receive the grace of faith. But the name of John, (i.e. the grace of God,) his mother in word, his father in writing, suffice to announce, for both the Law itself as well as the Psalms and the Prophecies, in the plainest language foretell the grace of Christ; and that ancient priesthood, by the foreshadowing of its ceremonies and sacrifices, bears testimony to the same. And well does Zacharias speak on the eighth day of the birth of his child, for by the resurrection of the Lord, which took place on the eighth day, i.e. the day after the sabbath, the hidden secrets of the legal priesthood were revealed.

65. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea.
66. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

THEOPHYL. AS at the silence of Zacharias the people marveled, so likewise when he spoke. Hence it is said, And fear came upon all; that from these two circumstances all might believe there was something great in the child that was born. But all these things were ordained, to the end that he who was to bear witness of Christ might also be esteemed trustworthy. Hence it follows, And all they that heard them laid them up in their heart, saying What manner of child, &c.

THEOPHYL; For fore-running signs prepare the way for the forerunner of the truth, and the future prophet is recommended by auspices sent before him; hence it follows, For the hand of the Lord was with him.

GREEK EX. For God worked miracles in John which he did not himself, but the right hand of God in him.

GLOSS. But mystically, at the time of our Lord's resurrection, by the preaching of the grace of Christ, a wholesome dread shook the hearts not only of the Jews, (who were neighbors, either from the place of their dwelling, or from the knowledge of the law,) but of the foreign nations also. The name of Christ surmounts not only the hilly country of Judea, but all the heights of worldly dominion and wisdom.

80. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing to Israel.

THEOPHYL; The future preacher of repentance, that he might the more boldly reclaim his hearers from the allurements of the world, passes the first part of his life in the deserts. Hence it is said, And the child grew.

THEOPHYL. i.e. in bodily stature, and waxed strong in spirit, for together with his body at the same time his spiritual gift increased, and the workings of the Spirit were more and more manifested in him.

ORIGEN; Or he increased in spirit, remaining not in the same measure in which he had begun, but the Spirit was ever growing in him. His will ever tending to better things, was making its own advances, and his mind ever contemplating something more divine, while his memory was exercising itself, that it might lay up more and more things in its treasury, and more firmly retain them. But he adds, And he waxed strong. For human nature is weak, as we learn, the flesh is weak. It must therefore be made strong by the Spirit, for the Spirit is ready. Many wax strong in the flesh, but the wrestler of God must be strengthened by the Spirit that he may crush the wisdom of the flesh. He retires therefore to escape the noise of cities, and the thronging of the people. For it follows, And he was in the deserts. Where the air is purer, the sky more clear, and God a closer friend, that as the time had not yet arrived for his baptism and preaching, he might have leisure for praying, and might hold converse with the angels, calling upon God and fearing Him, saying, Behold, here am I.

THEOPHYL. Or, he was in the deserts that he might be brought up beyond the reach of the malice of the multitude, and not be afraid of man. For if he had been in the world, perchance he had been corrupted by the friendship and conversation of the world. And secondly, that he who was to preach Christ might also be esteemed trust-worthy. But he was hid in the desert until it pleased God to show him forth to the people of Israel, as it follows, till the day of his showing forth to Israel.

AMBROSE; And rightly is the time noted during which the prophet was in the womb, in order that the presence of Mary might not be passed over, while they are silent about the time of his childhood, because being strengthened in the womb by the presence of the Mother of the Lord, he knew not the struggles of childhood.

Catena Aurea Luke 1
39 posted on 06/24/2014 5:39:18 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist: 2. Birth and Naming of the Baptist

Giotto di Bondone

1320
Fresco, 280 x 450 cm
Peruzzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

40 posted on 06/24/2014 5:39:38 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Birth of the Baptist (panel of the south doors)

Andrea Pisano

1330
Gilt bronze
Baptistry, Florence

41 posted on 06/24/2014 5:39:58 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Birth of St John the Baptist and the Baptism of Christ


c. 1420
Illumination on parchment
Palazzo Madama, Turin


The illumination of the page (93 v.) depicts the Birth of St John the Baptist and the Baptism of Christ. The former shows St Elizabeth in her lying-in room after the birth of St John the Baptist. Beyond Elizabeth fully furnished room, which includes attendants, a child, and a couple of household pets, are two smaller rooms; in the first, well-windowed one St Zacharias is seated writing his son's name in a book (Like 1:57-63), and in the second there is a woman seen from the rear - she may be washing up.

The Turin-Milan Hours, whose illustrations scholars once attributed to Jan van Eyck, combines superb landscapes, accurate, spatially correct interiors, and ornamental borders familiar from the work of Jean Pucelle.

(Source)
42 posted on 06/24/2014 5:44:21 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Birth and Naming St John

Fra Filippo Lippi

1452-65
Fresco
Duomo, Prato

43 posted on 06/24/2014 5:44:45 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


St John Altarpiece (left panel)

Rogier van der Weyden

1455-60
Oil on oak panel, 77 x 48 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The left panel depicts the Naming of John the Baptist.

Elisabeth lies in bed in the background after giving birth, while the pregnant Mary, the future mother of Jesus, brings the newborn child to his father Zacharias. Zacharias had been struck dumb for his doubts when an angel told him, during service in the temple, that he was to be the father of a son (this scene is shown in the lowest archivolt relief on the left). He therefore has to write down the name of the child. Mary, as the more important saint, is distinguished from Zacharias and Elisabeth by her aureole.

The side panels of the St John Altarpiece do not merely show the beginning and end of the Baptist's earthly life. The parallels between the pictorial motifs also express moral conflict. On the left, the chaste Virgin Mary holds the newborn baby in her arms; she and Zacharias are looking at one another gravely, aware of the significance of the event.

(Source)

44 posted on 06/24/2014 5:45:10 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Birth of St John the Baptist

Luca Signorelli

1485-90
Wood, 31 x 70 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

45 posted on 06/24/2014 5:45:33 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Birth of St John the Baptist

Domenico Ghirlandaio

1486-90
Fresco, width 450 cm
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

46 posted on 06/24/2014 5:46:02 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Zacharias Writes Down the Name of his Son

Domenico Ghirlandaio

1486-90
Fresco, width 450 cm
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

47 posted on 06/24/2014 5:46:25 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Birth of St John the Baptist

Tintoretto

c. 1563
Oil on canvas, 270 x 204 cm
San Zaccaria, Venice

48 posted on 06/24/2014 5:46:50 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Birth of St John the Baptist

Artemisia Gentileschi

c. 1635
Oil on canvas, 184 x 258 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

49 posted on 06/24/2014 5:47:20 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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