On Wednesday, June 24, the Universal Church will solemnly celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist – the last of the Old Testament prophets who was the immediate Precursor to the reign of Our Lord.
Our Lord and Savior Himself is very complimentary towards John the Baptist, as he said, “among those born of women, there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist.”
Something that we have to keep in mind is that John the Baptist was sanctified and consecrated in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, and was born into the world as a herald with a specific mission; a mis- sion in which the objective was to prepare the hearts of people for Christ who was already in the world.
As Prophet of the Most High, John came in the spirit and power of Elijah and called people to repent ance and administered a baptism of repentance. He humbly pointed out the Christ, “the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world, who was to come after him who’ll baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit.”
One of his most memorable sayings is, “He must increase while I must decrease.”
And even though people wondered if John was the Messiah, of course, he said he was not as he definitely knew his place in relationship to Our Lord the Christ. John was the soldier, and Christ is the King.
John the Baptist fulfilled his mission with fidelity and valor even to the point of being imprisoned and eventually giving up his life in martyrdom.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us.