By Fr. Andrew Kelly
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST – JUNE 24, 2012
When the Lord gathers the believing community for Sunday worship, it is not unlike Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 1:57-66, 80).
There is great joy that through the risen Jesus’ word, body and blood, God has shown the community what God showed Elizabeth:
“Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.”
In a sense all believing communities bear the name John which means: “God has shown favor.” This is celebrated every Sunday when the community celebrates Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Imagine the difference in community life if the excitement engendered by John’s birth permeated the community’s soul. Awe and joy would become second nature as the community ponders and takes to heart the Gospel question:
“‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.”
The answer is that “God has shown favor” on a summer Sunday in 2012.
Once John’s name is announced the community does what John’s father, Zechariah, did: “Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God.”
Zechariah and the community proclaim heartfelt faith with joy-filled song that “God has shown favor.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for June 24 to July 1
Lk 1:57-66, 80
2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18
2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36
Mt 7:6, 12-14
2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3
2 Kgs 24:8-17
2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18
Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19
Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mk 5:21-43 or Mk 5:21-24, 35b-43