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Saints are usually remembered on the day of their death, especially if they suffered martyrdom. Today, however, we celebrate the birth day of a Saint, Saint John the Baptist. He is the great fore-runner of Jesus the Christ and in pictures he is often seen carrying a banner with the inscription: “Ecce Agnus Dei”. (Behold the Lamb of God.)

John and Jesus were cousins with John being the elder by about six months. When John was born both his parents were elderly and his safe birth was greeted as a miracle of God. Having elderly parents resulted in John becoming an orphan before he reached adulthood. However, his saintly parents had instructed him in the ways of God and raised him with the knowledge that he was called to serve the Creator of heaven and earth. Through his prophetic proclamation that the Promised Messiah was about to appear and his call for repentance of all people, high and low, John prepared the Way of Lord. Like the Prophets before him John was not welcomed by people in positions of power because he called them out for their sinfulness. His life was cut short by an executioner’s blade.

We give thanks for the birth of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus Christ.

Bible Reading: Luke 1: 5-25, 57-80 and 3:1-20.