Read Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 139 Acts 13:22-26 and Luke 1:57-66.80
“The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.” (Luke 1:80)
Today happens to be the birthday of Saint John the Baptist. Birthdays are always great days; they give us some time to reflect on the life of the celebrant. From the life of John the Baptist, we can see that no human life comes into existence by a mere random act. God is the one who brings human beings to life and long before we come out of our Mothers’ wombs, God already has a plan for our life.
John the Baptist was not yet born before God sent an Angel to Zechariah his father telling him how he would have a son despite his old age who will prepare the way for the Messiah. Long before John the Baptist was formed in the womb, he already existed in the mind of God.
Long before we were born, God knew our names and he had plans for our lives. This is what the Prophet Isaiah relates in our first reading: “The Lord called me from the womb, from my mother’s womb he named my name…”
Dear friends, if God already knows our name before we were born, it means he knew about us when we were formed in our mother’s womb. Abortion is the greatest act of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. By killing an unborn baby, we deny him or her the chance to live out the plans God already has for them. There is no justification for taking anyone’s life even if it is just a day old in the womb.
Names are not merely means of identification; names are spiritual. A person’s name can affect his or her life. Our Gospel passage this morning is a record of the naming ceremony of John the Baptist. The family members were planning to call him Zechariah after his father because they felt he would re-live his father’s life. But Elizabeth and Zechariah knew that this child had a destiny different from that of his father so they both opted for “John” instead.
It was just after naming the child that God restored his gift of speech. And guess what? Zechariah who used to complain and doubt a lot became a changed person; he sang the Benedictus, a song of praise to God. The people wondered: “What will this child turn out to be?” This is the same question we should ask ourselves each time we come across little children. Every child deserves respect, care and love because you can never know what the future of that child would be. This little baby you see today may one day be your life-saver.
Our second reading sums up the life of John the Baptist. He fulfilled his destiny. He prepared the way for Jesus. He drew people’s attention only to end up saying: “I am not he. No, but after me, one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.” The moment John the Baptist said that, he had reached old age. He had finished his work and was now prepared to bow out.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my respect for the life of the unborn. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (The Birthday of Saint John the Baptist. Bible Study: Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 139 Acts 13:22-26 and Luke 1:57-66.80).