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Monday, June 24, 2002

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Birth of St. John the Baptizer

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

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making oneself present-able

"Her neighbors and relatives, upon hearing that the Lord had extended His mercy to her, rejoiced with her." —Luke 1:58

On this celebration of the birthday of St. John the Baptist, the Lord is giving birthday presents not to John, who already has eternal life in heaven, but to us.

If you're discouraged in your service to the Lord and feel that you have "toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent" your strength (Is 49:4), the Lord wants to give you the present of hope. He promises: "I will make you a light to the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth" (Is 49:6).

If you are not single-hearted for the Lord (Mt 5:8), if you don't love Him with all your heart because you've been deceived into doing your own thing and seduced into selfishness, the Lord offers you the present of a new heart (Ez 36:26). Then you will be a man or woman after God's own heart and fulfill His every wish (Acts 13:22).

If you are spiritually tongue-tied, if you consistently fail to speak up for Jesus, He will give you today the gift of opening your mouth and loosing your tongue to praise Him (Lk 1:64).

The Lord has many other presents for us on this special birthday celebration. These presents are wrapped in a package, which is itself a present, called repentance, even a baptism in repentance (Acts 13:24). Accept the gift of repentance and open yourself to receive countless other presents today and forever.

Prayer:  Father, may I live in Your presents.

Promise:  "All who heard stored these things up in their hearts, saying, 'What will this child be?' and, 'Was not the hand of the Lord upon him?' " —Lk 1:66

Praise:  One year ago today, Fr. Ed died at the age of fifty. He imitated St. John throughout his short life, touching countless people through his humility (Jn 3:30), his loving proclamation of the Word, his compassion as a confessor, and by preparing the way of the Lord into thousands of hearts (Mt 3:3).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001