Feast Day of St. John the Baptist – June 24th

Today we celebrate the birth of Saint John the Baptist, cousin, and forerunner of Christ, our Lord.  In all but two notable exceptions, John being one and the Blessed Virgin Mary the other we commemorate feast days of Saints on the day of their death.

In discussing the relationship between Jesus and John, the word parallel often appears.  Parallel: a word meaning “marked likeness in the development of two things.” They grow side by side in similar circumstances but never quite join or interfere with one another. Each man, conceived by a miracle of God’s divine intervention, lived the fullness of their call. John was the only son of elderly parents, conceived well past their age of childbearing.  Jesus, the Son of God, was born to a Virgin Mother to whom it was said: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:30, 31  Both messages were delivered by the Angel Gabriel, the first to Zechariah, priest and father of John some six months before the promise given Mary.

John was a man of the wilderness, Jesus a sojourner there. Throughout his life, John proclaimed and prepared for the coming of Christ. His baptism was the baptism of repentance, but he declared that One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire, whose sandals he, John, was not worthy to untie.  John and Jesus, the Messiah, first met at the Jordan River. This God-Man of whom John spoke joined the crowd to be baptized. Upon seeing him, John immediately cried out: Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  In humility, Jesus desired to receive baptism.  In humility, John granted His request.

Both men endured wrongful arrest, imprisonment, and execution. John, who believed in, waited for and identified Jesus as the Messiah experienced a time of doubt and fear while imprisoned by Herod Antipas. From prison, he sent two of his closest disciples to Jesus. In his despair, confusion, and torment, he reached out to Him for consolation.  You are the expected one, aren’t you? Or do we look for someone else?

With infinite compassion, Jesus replied, Go and report (to John) what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. From Luke 7:19-22

It was the reassurance of love John was seeking and enabled him to face a heinous death with courage, dignity, and unwavering faith in God.

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About Sr. Nun Other

May 16, 2012, completed my 30th year as a Sister. It was both a milestone and just another day in an interesting journey. Some of those thirty years included singing with Gloriae Dei Cantores, marching in Spirit of America band, and serving on our Sisters Council. As a monastic, I live surrounded by beauty and within a frame work of opportunity and possibility. I'm sixty-four (much to my surprise) and extremely grateful for my life as a sister - past, present, and future.

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