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Thursday, June 24, 1999

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Birth of John the Baptizer

Isaiah 49:1-6
Acts 13:22-26
Psalm 139
Luke 1:57-66, 80

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halfway to jesus' birthday

"Look for the One Who comes after me. I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals on His feet." —Acts 13:25

We celebrate the birthday of John the Baptizer for the same reason we celebrate the birthday of Mary. The significance of John the Baptizer, Mary, and each of us is due to our relationship with Jesus. We celebrate John's birthday because it is halfway to the celebration of Jesus' birthday. We celebrate our birthdays because we have been given new birth in Jesus.

We celebrate John because he was chosen to prepare the way for Jesus (see Acts 13:24). We celebrate Mary because she is the mother of Jesus. We celebrate our lives because we have given them to Jesus. Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). Jesus is "the Beginning and the End" (Rv 21:6), "the First and the Last" (Rv 1:17). Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, and the Lord. He is God and the only Hope for the world. We live to live in Him (see Jn 6:56).

As we complete our years of preparation for the two-thousandth anniversary of Jesus' Incarnation, let us obey John's command to behold the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29, 36). "Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus," the Beginning and the End of our faith (Heb 12:2). Let us "live no longer for" ourselves "but for Him" (2 Cor 5:15).

Prayer:  "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All!"

Promise:  "Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord." —Is 49:4

Praise:  St. "John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel" (Acts 13:24).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998