Written by: Peter Nguyen, UF Student
Six months before the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, a miraculous event occurred in Ein Karem, a village in Jerusalem just south of the Jordan River. After an angel announced that a barren woman would give birth to a son, as well as the visitation of Mary to the home of this woman, St. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist, a newborn “filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15).
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Now, this day is significant because John was born as the precursor to Christ. He was called to serve as a voice, to bring attention to the Messiah that was to come in order to redeem the world. Through his baptizing with water, he called all to repent and live virtuously, before Christ came to baptize with the “Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Through his ministry, however, he never lost sight of his vocation; he gathered attention among crowds only to bring glory to God. Through this selflessness, we also see St. John the Baptist as a martyr, dying at the hands of King Herod.
But what does that mean for us? Are we not also called to do the same to boldly proclaim Christ? Indeed, through our gifts and testimonies, we are called to serve as that same voice, in order that we may bring joy and hope to the world revealed by God the Son, who came down and became man in order to be in relationship with us, in order to die for us, in order to redeem us. May we take this day to ask for the intercession of St. John the Baptist, in order that we may bring glory to God and humble ourselves, even when it is difficult. May we never cease to trust Christ, for without Him, everything is for naught. May we echo St. John the Baptist’s words, “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30).