The greatness of John the Baptist is seen in the great emphasis given to the announcement of his birth!


 

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In today’s gospel, Luke describes the birth and circumcision of John because it is linked to the birth and circumcision of Jesus.

John was called to be the precursor of Jesus from his mother’s womb. Both children grew and became strong in spirit. Then John began to preach a baptism of repentance always asserting that he was preparing the way for one greater than himself. Eventually Jesus came to seek baptism from his kinsman.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of God’s promise to send the light of life to his people.

The greatness of John the Baptist is seen in the great emphasis given to the announcement of his birth and the event itself: both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. Except for Mary, no one had a higher function in the unfolding of salvation than John the Baptist. Yet, the least in the Kingdom, Jesus said, is greater than John the Baptist, for the gift of salvation that God gives.

John challenges us Christians to the fundamental attitude of Christianity:  total dependence on God, in Christ. The attractiveness as well as the austerity of John, his fierce courage in denouncing evil, all stem from his fundamental placement of his life within the will of God. And this is not something, which was only true long ago in the past.  It is always true, because the repentance which he preached always remains the way into the kingdom which he announced. John is always relevant because he calls for a preparation and repentance, which all of us need to make on daily basis!

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