Sunday, June 23, 2024

June 24 - Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist


Today is the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. 

Here's the recounting of the beginning of John's life from the Loyola Kid Book of Bible Stories by Amy Welborn. 

Remember how the book is organized. The stories are grouped according to how one would generally hear them proclaimed in the context of the liturgy. Generally. The stories are retold, with a couple of reflection questions at the end. Forgive the poor scan of the second (which is the last) page. I think you can make it out.

One of the aspects of John's origin story that has always struck me is the fact that his father received the news of his conception and name while he was doing something very specific: his duty. Moreover, this obligation, was related to the liturgy. He had a role assisting in Temple worship, a context that was not a free-for-all of doing-what-the-Spirit-leads, but structured and considered a "given."

Couple that experience with how Mary received her comparable news: in obscurity, in a backwater of the Roman Empire, given to a very ordinary young woman just living her ordinary life.

Yes, consider the two together and what do you hear: God meets us in the midst of ordinary life, as we are fulfilling our duties and offering our prayers and worship. Those things are not obstacles to authenticity, they're not barriers to deep, "Spirit-filled" lives.

They are the way. 

amy welborn