Daily Gospel Reflection – Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Bishop Robert BarronJune 23,2022
Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
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.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. From time immemorial, God has sent messengers, prophets, and spokespersons. Think of that whole line of prophets and the patriarchs of Israel.
John the Baptist sums up all of these figures. In the Gospel of John, the Baptist identifies himself as “the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” The point John makes is that Jesus is not just one more biblical figure. He’s something altogether different—not just a speaker of the Word but the Word himself.
We are destined for union with the Word of God, but we don’t get it. Why do we run after everything but Christ? Because there’s something seriously off-kilter in us. But here’s the good news from John’s Gospel: “To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.”
We can’t grasp this on our own. God must lift us up. The Word of God, with God from the beginning, does not remain in splendid isolation. It comes down, joins us, and lifts us up. That is the essence of the Christian message.