THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
EMPOWERED TO WITNESS - 9
Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist
Today’s gospel: Luke 1:57-80
John was special. Jesus himself said, “Amen, I say to
you, among those born of women there has been none greater
than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11a). When Mary visited
Elizabeth, John leaped in his mother’s womb (Lk 1:41).
Now “Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit,
prophesied” (Lk 1:67). He spoke about John, but what
he said should also be about all of us. Just like John who
prepared the way of the Lord, we are empowered to witness
to Jesus and his salvation.
are called to holiness. We are “to be mindful of his
holy covenant .... in holiness and righteousness before him
all our days.” (Lk 1:72b,75). We are to be holy as God
is holy. We strive for Christian perfection. We are saints.
are called to witness. Our calling is the same as John. “And
you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you
will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people
knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins”
(Lk 1:76-77). Ours is a prophetic calling. We are to help
bring people to repentance and faith in Jesus. We proclaim
the gospel of salvation. We prepare for the second coming
of Jesus. Now John was martyred. We too die to self, and even
actually might be called on to give up our very lives. We
are called to mission. When we evangelize, we engage in spiritual
warfare. We face a diabolical enemy, who hates God and hates
all who belong to God. Now Jesus has already won the victory.
We are assured of “salvation from our enemies and from
the hand of all who hate us” (Lk 1:71). We are “rescued
from the hand of enemies” (Lk 1:74a). We go off into
battle and should be fearless. We are warriors.
we go offsaints, martyrs, warriorsand do the work
of the New Evangelization, “to shine on those who sit
in darkness and death’s shadow” (Lk 1:79a).