Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Catholic Reflections 676 : Nativity of John the Baptist - Sunday, 24 June 2018

Homily Nativity of John the Baptist  - Sunday, 24 June 2018

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm: Ps 138:1-3. 13-15. “
I praise you for I am wonderfully made.

Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26
Gospel Acclamation: cf Luke 1:76
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66. 80
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Nativity of John the Baptist  - Sunday, 24 June 2018 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/nativity-john-baptist-faith-hope-and-love-ep-101  (EPISODE: 101)
At every Mass, as the Chalice and Paten are raised up high. //(at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer)//… we hear the ancient words:…  “Behold the lamb of God; Behold him who takes away the sins of the world…..”  We proclaim the words first announced by the great Prophet:  John the Baptist,  

On this Feast day of the Birth of John the Baptist... We also know what this means……. "it is only six months until Christmas!"

This year is speeding along, but this feast of the Birth of John the Baptist reminds us to stop and reflect upon the hidden graces that God is preparing for us. John was born six months before Our Lord, and so the feast of John’s Birth is placed exactly six months prior to Christmas and the Feast of the Annunciation is placed exactly three months prior to that, so as to align with the Gospel account from Luke.

John is one of those significant figures in the Gospel, and he is one of the select few who has more than one feast day in the church year. He has a feast (and a vigil, no less!) for his Birth, // And, he has a feast day for his martyrdom, - which also has a vigil mass!!). He is important because of his role in preparing for the coming of the Messiah and his call to repentance (turning back to God and making a profound change of heart towards God and God’s values – turning away from selfishness).

John also is an inspiring example of a prophet who refused to water down his message for the sake of popularity// and unswervingly proclaimed the challenging message of God,// often in the face of stubborn resistance.

John the Baptist is an ongoing sign of the ageless consistency of God’s word. //God’s law and God’s values do not bend to the trends and fads of the times.

Our Lord himself said of John the Baptist: “what did you go out to see in the wilderness? A Reed bending in the wind?? No.”

John was not a pushover in the values and message of God. No “trendy sell-outs” or ‘watered-down messages here (with John)!!!

Today’s feast is primarily (as all feasts are) about God’s faithfulness and graciousness. The unfolding of God’s plans in and through the generous hopes and dreams of God’s faithful followers. Mary and Elizabeth, and eventually Zechariah, believed and trusted in what God was doing in their lives, and cooperated fully.

like John the Baptist a lot! He is one of my co-patron saints, along with St Paul (of course) and John the “beloved disciple”. I like the fact that I was born on the eve of the Birth of John the Baptist. (On a personal note, It is nice to have his feast day coinciding on the weekend of my 50th birthday  - I give thanks to God for countless blessings received-).

Interestingly, if we look at the results of the five-yearly census, the 2016 Australian Census showed that 22% of the population identify as being Catholic...(down from 30% in 2011) and that the total percentage of people identifying as Christian (including Catholics) is 52% of the population of Australia. The percentage of people who identify as "no religion" is 30% (up from 22% in the 2011 census)// (although this statistic is not always clear – Does it mean that 30% of people do not believe in God or rather just don’t identify with a particular religious tradition/  It could also mean a significant number of people are embarrassed about admitting their belief and membership of the Christian faith, in a time and culture that can mock and belittle that faith).

Too often, we hear various commentators asking "why are governments listening to the Christian churches… Why are they exerting such an influence in politics in a secular nation…" but, as you can see.. with 52 % of the population identifying with the Christian religion… WHY NOT….. The Christian perspective is still significant…

However, in any case, this weekend's feast day is always helpful to remember the message of John the Baptist…

John the Baptist reminds us that it is not about numbers and majorities...... Even if a minority raises objections about something that is wrong and unjust... their voice is important... and even if a majority of people declare something to be so, it does not mean it is right or good.

The example of the Prophets from of old is that - All that matters is ONE voice.. // One true voice… //  Speaking God’s message. A lone voice, crying out in the wilderness ---- is a voice certainly worth listening to. He was willing to pay the ultimate price for standing up for those values.....

ven if the majority is off chasing fads… the voice in the wilderness,… a voice like John the Baptist.. still speaks the truth, without fear or favour. John prepared the way for the Lord. he also fearlessly spoke of the values of the Kingdom without compromise.

Fr Paul W. Kelly




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Texts used in this programme are for the purposes of worship and prayer for listeners wherever you are.
Prayers and chants are taken from the English Translation of the Roman Missal, edition three, © 2010, The International commission on English in the liturgy.
Scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version: © 1989, by the national council of Churches of Christ, USA. , //adaptations to conform with Catholic liturgical norms, © 2009, by the same.

“The Psalms: A New Translation” ©1963, The Grail (England), published by Collins.. **]

{ “Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin” -published 2011,  Composed and Sung by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski 
Featuring the….Gloria, see  
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Prayers of the Faithful are adapted from Robert Borg’s 1993 book “ Together we pray”. Published in Sydney Australia By E.J. Dwyer. (Out of print).

“Faith, Hope and Love” theme Hymn: Words, based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, set to original music © 1996 by Paul W. Kelly.

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May God bless and keep you.

Nativity of John the Baptist
Sunday, 24 June 2018)

(EPISODE: 101 )

The Lord be with you.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
option two on the cards/ Have mercy on us, O Lord./ For we have sinned against you./ Show us, O Lord, your mercy. And grant us your salvation.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Memorial Acclamation

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.


Preface  - special for  feast day – “The mission of the precursor”

Euch prayer One

Communion side. pwk:
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

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