The greatest of the sons of men
Gospel: Luke 1:5-17, Luke 1:57-66,80
Why do we celebrate in a special way the birth of John the Baptist?
As stated in Catholic Encyclopedia, "Apart from Mary and Joseph, John the Baptist is the only saint in the calendar who has two feasts to himself. One, in August, celebrates his death, and one, in June, celebrates his birth. And this is as it should be, for as Christ himself said, John was the greatest of the sons of men."
In the first reading from the book of Jeremiah it was written: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;before you came to birth I consecrated you; I have appointed you as prophet to the nations."
Perhaps, this could give us a clue on the life of St. John and his vocation. But it could be a guide for all of us why God created us and how just as "John was the greatest of the sons of men" we too are called the same way.
First, it was already fashioned that John would be the precursor, "the one who would go before the Lord to prepare his way." God already knew us and what we can contribute to His creation and how best we can serve him.
Second, each of us is consecrated to God. Every mode of being is already affected even before we were born. St. John was exactly that. He lived simply. He was faithful to his calling precisely by the life he lived. We are called to live the same way - as consecrated men and women in the Lord.
Third, we are to fulfill what we are called to do in this life. John was a mighty prophet, having no fear of men. But he fulfilled his mission - to prepare the way of the Lord. And he did just that. Are we living out the life we are called to do? Be missionaries of the Lord.
All of us are called to touch each other' lives with the spirit of Jesus. All of us are meant to save one another and not lead each other to sin. Let us do just that!