"For today in the city of David a savior
has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord."
God selected St. John the Baptist for a special mission even before he was born. The angel Gabriel appeared to his father Zechariah to foretell the birth of this very special child. Scripture tells us that John was blessed by the Holy Spirit before his birth. When Elizabeth pregnant with John, is greeted by her cousin Mary, pregnant with the Son of God, Elizabeth’s child “leaped in her womb for joy”.
Throughout his life John remained in this holy state. He dedicated himself to the task given to him by God. John was the last of a long line of Prophets sent to prepare the people for the coming of their Saviour, Jesus Christ. His message was clear, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”.
The church highlights the life and mission of St. John the Baptist at Advent each year. We are reminded to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. We do not prepare for his human birth since he lived, died and returned to heaven long ago. Instead, we prepare to meet him face to face whether that will be at his glorious return to earth or at our own death.
The man whom Jesus called “greatest among men” is certainly worthy of our study and reflection. John’s message to “turn to God and away from sin” is as meaningful to people today as it was to those living 2000 years ago. God has also selected us to be messengers. Our special mission is to share the Good News of Jesus’ love with the world. John listened to the call of God spoken in his heart. We listen, too. The voice of God reverberates through the words of Scripture, “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and to the ends of the earth. “
Where to Learn More:
The website www.newadvent.org had a lot of fabulous information about St. John the Baptist. Previously called “Catholic Encyclopaedia” this site is positively bursting with information about every aspect of our faith.
Tonight we heard the story of the Annunciation and talked about the answer that Mary gave to the angel Gabriel. It was a very special “yes” that Mary said and she probably had only a little idea as to how important her “yes” was. Because of the graces she received, she knew that she should accept what God was asking of her, even if she was scared or confused about why or how it would happen.
Mary’s “yes” changed everything. She became Mother of God and Our Blessed Mother. Jesus grew up and died to take away our sins. It changed everything in the lives of those met and followed Jesus, how they honoured God and loved each other. Our Holy Church had a beginning, and it set the path of every Christian even to today. Your very lives are the way they are today because of Mary. We need to continue trying all our lives to say the same “yes” to God as Mary did so long ago, and to pray for the graces that can make that possible.
Tonight our classes reviewed the Angelus together, and we’ve included the words to the Angelus on tonight’s sheet so that your family may enjoy it together as our classes did.
The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done to me according to Your Word.
And the Word was made flesh
And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us Pray:
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace unto our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ, your Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and death be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.