The Birth of John the Baptist

John the Baptist Prophet of the Most High

John the Baptist is the hinge that connects the Old Testament to the New Testament. He is the last of the prophets to announce the coming of the Messiah.

The Angel of the Lord announced to his parents Zechariah and Elizabeth, who were advanced in age and unable to conceive, that they would have a child. At the child’s circumcision Zechariah gave him the name that the angel had revealed and declared John’s mission by singing a canticle of praise.

Scripture tells us that Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant with John when Jesus was conceived so his birth is set six months before the birth of Jesus.

Because of his major role in salvation history, John’s birth is one of only three celebrated by the Catholic Church. The others are Jesus Christ (December 25) and the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8).

The Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24.

The one who prepared the way:

The beginning of a New Covenant:

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” John was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 717

Preparing the way for the Light of Christ:

Prepared for something special:

John’s father, Zechariah — Elizabeth’s husband and a relative of Mary — was a priest of Old Testament worship, he did not immediately believe in the announcement of such an unexpected fatherhood. This is why he was left mute until the day of the circumcision of the child to whom he and his wife gave the name God had indicated to them, that is, John, which means “graced by God”. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Zechariah spoke thus of his son’s mission: “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins”

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, June 24, 2012

He leaped in his Elizabeth’s womb in Jesus’ presence:

Aware of the presence of Jesus:

“And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Luke 1: 76-80

A life totally directed toward Jesus:

John may have been born without Original Sin:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Setting captives free:

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