Monday, June 25, 2007

The Proper of the Day: Feast of Nativity of St. John

Today (for a few more minutes at least), we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Also called the Forerunner and the Baptizer, this is the John who is considered Elijah, the last ofthe "old order" who points the way toward Jesus but who very clearly is not to be considered on the same level. The Daily Office readings make that perfectly clear. Raymond Brown suggests in The Community of the Beloved Disciple that there are those known to that community who do think that John the Baptist was the Messiah, hence the effort of the Fourth Gospel - and all four, really - to make very clear who John is and who John is not.

We remember today, 6 months before Christmas, the birth of him who made the way plain for Jesus who is the true pioneer and perfecter of our faith:

Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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