The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

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Today we celebrate the nativity of St. John the Baptist. In a homily attributed to St. Maximus of Turin, we read: “Such a great herald was he that by anticipating the grace of his future ministry, he gave his mother the spirit of prophecy, and by the power of the name assigned to him by the angel, he opened the mouth of his father Zechariah, which had been sealed by doubt.” The Gospel for the day, which recounts this story, also mentions the people who witnessed these events, telling us that they asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” (Lk 1:66) Jean Danielou, S.J., in his book Advent, gives us a reply: “Amongst people completely unconcerned with the things of God, he was to be the one who upset their complacency and awakened in them those beginnings of goodwill which would enable them to understand Christ.” May we too be stirred to a deeper understanding of Christ through the intercession of St. John the Baptist!

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