One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15, Acts 13:22-26, Luke 1:57-66, 80
“‘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.'” … Acts 13:25
REFLECTION – “The fact that John’s birth is commemorated when the days begin to shorten, and the Saviour’s when they begin to lengthen, indicates a symbolic meaning. And indeed, John himself disclosed the hidden significance of this difference between them. The crowds were taking him to be the Christ on account of his outstanding virtues, whereas some were thinking of the Lord, not as Christ but as a prophet because of the weakness of his bodily state. So John said: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). Our Lord certainly increased since, while they were looking on Him as a prophet, He made known to all believers in the whole world that He was the Christ. John decreased and grew less, in that he who was taken for the Christ, came to be seen, not as the Christ but, as the one who proclaimed the Christ.
And so it is natural, that daylight begins to decrease after John’s birth because his reputation for divinity is going to vanish and his baptism will soon disappear. It is equally natural, that the brightness of the shortest days begins to increase following our Lord’s birth – for, in truth, He came to earth to reveal the light of His knowledge to all the pagans, of which formerly, only the Jews had possessed a part and to shed abroad the fire of His love, through all the earth.” … St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church – Homélie II, 20; CCL 122, 328-330
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You sent St John the Baptist, to the people of Israel to make them ready for Christ the Lord. Give us the grace of joy in the Spirit and guide the hearts of all the faithful, in the way of salvation and peace, as they harken to the voice of John, the Lord’s herald and bring them safely to Jesus, whom John foretold. St John the Baptist, may your intercession for the Church, bring us to the Light and the Way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever amen.