Sunday after Sunday we follow the readings assigned for the Sundays of the year. Last Sunday we had the Gospel and other Bible readings for the Eleventh Sunday. Seven days from now we will have the readings for the Thirteenth Sunday; but today, instead of taking the readings for the Twelfth Sunday, we read those assigned for celebrating the birth of John the Baptist. It has us wondering what use is there in recalling that ancient event. I come up with two reasons for making much of the birth of John the Baptist. Let me tell you.
My first reason for seeing John’s birth as special is that it points to the special nature of each of our coming into the world. God created you and me in his own image and likeness. The first reading applies to John the Baptist, but it applies to you as well. You too can rightly say, “The Lord has called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” So, get going at accomplishing all that God has sent you to do.
My second reason for seeing John’s birth as special is that I have seen others doing that. In our vacation driving around one year my buddy and I happened to roll into Quebec, Canada on June twenty-third. We took the least expensive rooms in the wonderful Frontenac Hotel, and went to bed. Going down for breakfast in the morning we found ourselves in the midst of a city-wide celebration. Young people and old, all in their Sunday best, were milling around, exchanging greetings, stopping to look at our Scrabble Game. They were enjoying to the full their belonging to a city that sees the birth of John the Baptist as a wonderful thing for this world.