June 23, 2022

John the Baptist born

June 23, 2022:  Nativity of St. John the Baptist

See over 3 dozen connections with today?
Legend below

  • John/ Winter (Medical Mission Sisters) (gospel) [leadsheet and note]
Pope Francis

To ROACO (Reunion of aid agencies for the Oriental Churches):  Thank you for caring for those suffering the conflict that has wounded Ethiopia.  Thanks to all who receive refugees from Ukraine, where we've returned to the drama of Cain and Abel, to which we're called to react via prayer and works of charity, so weapons give way to negotiations.  I have faith that pride and idolatry will be lowered, and desolation and tears filled, but we'd like to see Isaiah's prophecy of peace fulfilled soon.  But everything seems to be going in the opposite direction: less food, more weapons.  ROACO is synodal:  each actor is called to dialogue with the others.  Remain tuned to others.  Flee temptations of isolation to stay open to welcome all who serve the Eastern Catholic Churches.  In the poverty and discouragement caused by the war that prostrated Syria, ROACO listened to others to identify priorities.  There have been sad events in Iraq and Syria and upheavals in Lebanon, but also lights of hope, such as the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity.  Find updated tools and suitable ways to express closeness to the Churches and resume the work of coordination....

To Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate (DIA) and International Marian AcademyFraternal coexistence and friendship are possible where “houses” implement the pact between generations by preserving the roots of those who believe in the beauty of being together that develops in dialogue, kindness, and support for justice.  These houses make it possible to build a family open to the common good spreading a culture of legality, respect, and safety.  The DIA helps build houses that act antibodies to corruption, greed, and violence, the DNA of criminal organizations.  Mafias win when fear takes over the mind and heart, stripping people of their dignity and freedom from within.  Work so fear can't win:  continue on the path towards change, light amidst darkness, and freedom.  Be strong and bring hope, especially among the weakest.

When security and legality are lacking, the most fragile and the "last" are harmed first:  the weak are preyed on and made into slaves mafia economies are built on, “refuse” the mafia need to pollute life and the environment.  Stand next to victims of bullying by preventing and opposing crime.  We must also resist Mafia colonialism through research, study, and formation attesting that progress springs from justice, freedom, honesty, and solidarity, not corruption.  Continue with enthusiasm despite shadows in the social and ecclesial fabric where there's still error and immorality.  Embark on the path of justice and honesty.  Where there's been connivance, study the causes, leave space for healthy "shame" and cooperation for the common good.  Stand beside people with tenderness and compassion; promote love for the people, their lives, and their future.  Love can generate new relationships and give birth to a more just order through houses and families enlivened by equality, justice, and fraternity.


  • Jer 1:4-10  Lord / Jeremiah:  "Before you were born, I formed and dedicated you and appointed you prophet." / “I'm too young!” / “Don't say that or be afraid; I'm with you.  You'll go where I send you and speak what I command.  I set you over nations to tear down and build."
  • Ps 71:1-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab, 17  "Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength."  Hear, rescue, and deliver me; you're my hope and trust.  I'll declare your justice and salvation.
    • 1 Pt 1:8-12  Though you haven't seen Jesus, you love and believe in him and rejoice as you attain the salvation that prophets searched for and investigated...
    • Lk 1:5-17  Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous God's eyes but old and childless.  Angel to Zechariah:  “Your prayer has been heard.  Elizabeth will bear you a son; name him John.  Many will rejoice; he'll be great in God's sight, filled with the Spirit.  He'll turn children of Israel to the Lord and prepare a people fit for the Lord.
    • Is 49:1-6  The Lord called and formed me:  "You're my servant.  Through you Jacob and Israel will be gathered to me.  I'll make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth."
      "His name is John" (Animate)
    • Ps 139:1b-3, 13-15  "I praise you, for I am wonderfully made."  You've formed me and know me....
    • Acts 13:22-26  Paul:  “God raised up David as king and brought to Israel a savior, Jesus, from his descendants.  John heralded him by proclaiming a baptism of repentance, saying, ‘One is coming after me; I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals.’  This word of salvation has been sent to you....”
      • Lk 1:57-66, 80  Elizabeth gave birth; her neighbors and relatives rejoiced.  They were going to name him Zechariah, but she said, “No:  John.” / “But none of your relatives has that name.”  They made signs asking his father; he wrote, “John,” all were amazed, his mouth was opened, he spoke blessing God, fear came upon the neighbors, and everyone talked about it:  “What will this child be?  God is with him."  The child grew and became strong in spirit...
      • Creighton:  Today we learn John got his name.  Imagine the friends and family gathering to celebrate his circumcision.  When Elizabeth announced the name John and Zechariah confirmed it, regained his speech, and praised God, all knew the baby was destined for great things.  I ask God to show me when I've been "stricken mute" by not putting my faith in God.  I pray for courage to speak up for the disenfranchised:  the poor, sick, incarcerated, homeless....  Thank God my family and friends surround and support me.
      • One Bread, One Body:  Many people, even Christians, aren't ready for Christ’s comings at Christmas, at the end of the world, or at their death. They need John the Baptist whose mission is to prepare the Lord's way by calling to repentance, turning fathers' hearts to their children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just.  May we respond by repenting, forgiving, and changing our lives.
      • Passionist:  The circumstances around John the Baptist’s birth are remarkable. When Zechariah doubted the angel Gabriel when he said he and Elizabeth would have a child, he was struck mute until the child was circumcised. Elizabeth was thought barren, but for God nothing is impossible.  When Zechariah agreed with his wife that the baby would be named John, his tongue was freed, he praised God. and all asked, “What will this child be?”  Though our births may have ben unremarkable, the Lord's hand is with us too.  We may feel like Isaiah:  “I thought I'd toiled in vain....”  Did John feel like that in prison?  But even then, God is with us, and Isaiah realizes, “my reward is with the Lord....”  John testified to the truth about Jesus and was martyred, but his reward is with the Lord. Like him, we're called to testify to God’s love in Christ....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "The Lord's hand was with him":  Birthdays are a special time to remember and give thanks for the blessings that have come our way. Are yo"The hand of the Lord was with him":  John was named from above, and Elizabeth was determined to see God glorified through him.  'John' means "the Lord is gracious."  In the births of John and Jesus, God's grace breaks forth into a broken, hopeless world.  John’s miraculous birth shows God's mercy and favor in preparing his people for its Savior's coming.  John's passion was to point others to Christ and God's kingdom.  John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb.  The Spirit in John made him the forerunner of the Messiah.  The Spirit led John into the wilderness to be tested and grow in the word of God.  John broke prophetic silence by speaking God's word, chiding God's people for their unfaithfulness, and trying to awaken repentance in them.  When God acts to save us, he fills us with his Spirit and makes our faith come alive.  The Lord is always ready to renew us in faith, hope, and love and to make our life an offering to God.
      • Universalis:  John the Baptist (the only saint other than Mary and Joseph to have more than one feast days), prophet from before his birth, leaping in the womb to announce Jesus, proclaimed the fulfillment of all prophecies, and so his own obsolescence.  With courage he spread the news that he was the least in the kingdom of heaven.
      Dress legend*
      • 'Playing card' tie bar:  Zechariah was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary (1st reading d)
      • 'Prize' pin:  My reward is with the Lord (1st reading d)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  King Josiah (1st reading v); God raised up David as king (2nd reading d)
      • 'Car with mouth' tie pin:  The Lord touched Jeremiah's mouth and put his words in it (1st reading v); "my mouth will declare your justice" (psalm v); Zechariah's mouth was opened and tongue freed (gospel d)
      • '?'  tie pin: "What will this child be?" (gospel d)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord extended his hand to Jeremiah (1st reading v); "rescue me from the hand of the wicked" (psalm v); "the hand of the Lord was with [John]" (gospel d)
      • 'Plant' pin:  "I set you... to build and to plant" (1st reading v)
      • 'Rock' tie pin:  The Lord, my rock and fortress (psalm v)
        The Birth of John the Baptist/ Tintoretto
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  I'm made glorious in the Lord's sight (1st reading d); Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes; John will be great in the sight of the Lord (gospel v); though you haven't seen Jesus, you love and believe in him,... (2nd reading v)
      • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  ...and rejoice with glorious joy (2nd reading v); many will rejoice at John's birth (gospel v); they rejoiced with Elizabeth (gospel d)
      • 'Angel' pin:  Things angels longed to look into (2nd reading v); an angel appeared and spoke to Zechariah (gospel v)
      • 'Arrow' tie bar:  "He made me a sharpened arrow" (1st reading d)
      • 'Heart' tie bar:  John will turn hearts (gospel v); "I've found David a man after my own heart" (2nd reading d); all who heard took it to heart (gospel d)
      • 'Phone' tie bar:  The Lord 'called' me from birth (1st reading d); they made signs, asking Zechariah what he wished the child to be called (gospel d)
      • 'Sword' tie pin:  The Lord made of me a sharp-edged sword (1st reading d)
      • Sandals (not shown):  "I'm not worthy to unfasten the sandals (2nd reading d)
      • 'Feet' pin:  ...of his feet" (2nd reading d)
      • 'Children around the world' tie, 'street light' tie bar:  John will turn the children of Israel to the Lord (gospel v); I set you over the nations (1st reading v); I'll make you a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (1st reading d); you knew me when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth (psalm d)
      • 'Tablet' pin:  Zechariah and Elizabeth observed the Lord's commandments (gospel v); Zechariah wrote "John is his name" on a tablet (gospel d)
      • White and red shirt, white socks, 'decapitated skeleton' tie pin:  White for today's celebration, red and pin for John's martyrdom
      • Celebrate teaching:  You have taught me from my youth (gospel v)
      • "Boundless mercy" button:  "John" is Hebrew for "God is merciful"; the Lord showed great mercy toward Elizabeth (gospel d)
      • 'Street light' tie bar:  I'll make you a light... (1st reading d)
      • Suspenders with globe:  ...to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (1st reading d); I was fashioned in the depths of the earth (psalm d)

      • 'Helm' tie pin:  John will 'turn' many to the Lord (gv)

      • 'Alps' pin:  These matters were discussed throughout the hill country (gospel d)
      *:  v=vigil reading, d=daytime reading

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