Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection June 24, 2024


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R/. I thank you who wonderfully made me.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.

R/. Alleluia.

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbours and relatives 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 called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And a fear came on all their neighbours. 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 until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

1. Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. His is the only birth we celebrate besides the birthdays of the Lord and the Mother. That alone shows the singular importance that is accorded to him. The words of prophets Jeremiah 1. 4-10 and Isaiah 49. 1-6 are true and applicable to his birth and mission.

2.      He has been eternally destined by God to be his precursor, who prepares the way for the Messiah, who preaches repentance and converts many to the way of the Lord. He was called and named by the Lord from the mother’s womb. He was made like a sharp sword and like a polished arrow. He was the chosen servant of God. He was made as a light to the nations. In him, God is glorified.

3.      The second reading from Acts 13. 22-26 also indicates that John is a man after God’s own heart who will do all his will like David. God Himself would be his shield and guide. He would hide him in the shadow of His hand, and in His quiver. Hence no fear!

4.      The birth of John the Baptist recalls and reminds us of our own Christian vocation and mission, which can be summarized in three essential aspects: destiny, consecration, and empowerment. We are destined for eternity, destined to be heirs of heaven.

5.      In the pursuit of this destiny, we are consecrated to be His own, to be the disciples of Christ on his mission. In carrying out this mission and living out of the life of grace, we are empowered with His own power that emboldens us and illumines us amidst all fears and evil forces.

6.      John the Baptist lived and accomplished his destiny, consecration, and empowerment by his undistracted focus, humble surrender, and unflinching loyalty

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