John the Baptist !!! 24 June: Sermon by St. Augustine
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop The voice of one crying in the wilderness
The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event. We have no such commemoration for any other fathers; but it is significant that we celebrate the birthdays of John and Jesus. This day cannot be passed by. And even if my explanation does not match the dignity of the feast, you may still meditate on it with great depth and profit.
John was born of a woman too old for childbirth; Christ was born of a youthful virgin. The news of John's birth was met with incredulity, and his father was struck dumb. Christ's birth was believed, and he was conceived through faith.
Such is the topic, as I have presented it, for our inquiry and discussion. But as I said before, if I lack either the time or the ability to study the implications of so profound a mystery, he who speaks within you even when I am not here will teach you better; it is he whom you contemplate with devotion, whom you have welcomed into your hearts, whose temples you have become.
John, then, appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary, the Lord himself bears witness, when he speaks of the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist. Thus he represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come. As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents; as a herald of the new era, he is declared to be a prophet while still in his mother's womb. For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother's womb at the arrival of blessed Mary. In that womb he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born; it was revealed that he was to be Christ's precursor, before they saw one another. These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human frailty. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his father's tongue is loosened. See how these events reflect reality.
Zechariah is silent and loses his voice until John, the precursor of the Lord, is born and restores his voice. The silence of Zechariah is nothing but the age of prophecy lying hidden, obscured, as it were, and concealed before the preaching of Christ. At John's arrival Zechariah's voice is released, and it becomes clear at the coming of the one who was foretold. The release of Zechariah's voice at the birth of John is a parallel to the rending of the veil at Christ's crucifixion. If John were announcing his own coming, Zechariah's lips would not have been opened. The tongue is loosened because a voice is born. For when John was preaching the Lord's coming he was asked: Who are you? And he replied: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. The voice is John, but the Lord in the beginning was the Word. John was a voice that lasted only for a time; Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.
TE DEUM Performed by Erica Provinzano
You are God: we praise you; You are the Lord: we acclaim you; You are the eternal Father: All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the King of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free you did not spurn the Virgin's womb.
You overcame the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God's right hand in glory. We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
God our Father, you raised up John the Baptist to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord. Give your Church joy in spirit and guide those who believe in you into the way of salvation and peace. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. – Amen.
I am a consecrated Christian solitary brother (CCC 920-921), serving the church in fraternal community with the Order of Preachers (Rom 11:17).
Please pray for us in our call and mission to serve God and His church. / The monks here depicted are of the eremitic Order of St. Jerome (Hieronymites) to whom I was introduced in Lisbon, Portugal through the 'Mosteiro dos Jeronimos' world heritage site.
The blog title page features an image of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne who gave their lives for the peace of God's people during the French Revolution's reign of terror.
Holy Carmelite Saints & Martyrs please pray for us +