- Friday, 24 June 2016 -
The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist - Solemnity
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 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.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Augustine
“He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn 3,30)

The greatest of men was sent to bear witness to Him who was more than a man. For when he who is “from among those born of women the greatest” (Mt 11,11) said: “I am not the Christ” (Jn 1,20) and abased himself before Christ, he gave us to understand that in Christ there is something more than a man... “From his fullness we have all received” (Jn 1,16). What does it mean by “all of us”? It means the patriarchs, prophets and holy apostles, both those who came before the Incarnation and those who have been sent subsequently by the Incarnate Word himself: “of his fullness we have all received.” We are clay pots; he is the spring. Thus..., John is man, Christ is God. Man must be abased that God may be exalted. It is to teach us to humble ourselves that John was born on the day after which the days begin to grow shorter; to show us that God must be exalted, Jesus Christ was born on the day when the days begin to grow longer. There is a profoundly mysterious teaching at stake here. We celebrate John's nativity as we do Christ's because this particular nativity is full of mystery. What mystery? The mystery of our greatness. Let us grow smaller in ourselves to grow greater in God. Let us humble ourselves in our lowliness to be exalted in his greatness.

Sermon 289, 3rd for the Nativity of John the Baptist