Thursday, June 24, 2010

St. John the Baptist's Birthday

There are many Saints named John. Once I asked a visitor to our book center which St. John parish he belonged to: St. John the Baptist, or St. John the Evangelist. He answered me: "Neither one. I belong to St. John the Catholic"!
Today the Church honors the birthday of St. John the Baptist meaning the saint who baptized Jesus in the Jordan. This saint is also called Saint John the Forerunner, since his mission in life was to prepare the way for Jesus the Messiah. Today there are celebrations in Canada and Porto Rico which honor St. John the Baptist or Baptizer as their land's patron saint. We can all claim this saint as our patron because each of us can learn from his honesty: "I am not the Messiah," and his humility, "I am not worthy to unloose his sandal strap" (which he said referring to Jesus the Messiah.) Like John the Baptist who said, "He--Christ--must increase and I must decrease" we too want Christ to live more fully in us. St. Paul said it well in his letter to the Galatians, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."
Happy Name Day to all those who bear the name John or Joan. Have a blessed day!

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