The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Solemnity

June 24

VIA divineoffice.org

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Solemnity

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 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” (Jn 1:6-9). [1]

Today the Church celebrates the birth of St. John the Baptist, the last of the line of prophets sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. As the Catechism teaches us, “The coming of God’s son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ; all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the ‘First Covenant.’ He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel.” [2]

We recognize St. John the Baptist as surpassing all the other prophets. For through St. John, the Holy Spirit completed his work of making a people ready for God’s Son. Also, St. John abundantly welcomed Christ into the world; he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, foreshadowed Christ’s coming in his preaching, baptized and bore witness to Jesus in the Jordan, and gave his life in holy martyrdom. We celebrate St. John the Baptist’s birth as the threshold opening to the hope and joy present in Christ’s coming.