Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
April 23, 2024

Ordinary Time

For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Reading I : Isaiah 49:1-6

I will make you a light for the nations.

  • This is the second of the four “servant of the Lord” oracles.
  • The servant’s vocation extends beyond restoration of Israel to bring the knowledge of God to the rest of the earth.
  • More than a servant, God will make you a light to the nations; one that will reach far and wide and steadily.

Reading II : Acts 13:22-26

Jesus descended from a man after God’s own heart, David.

  • John’s proclamations were made to all those born into Judaism or those who joined.
  • David, John, and Jesus participated in the fulfillment of God’s plan.
  • John accepted his calling, not for his own sake, but for God’s glory.
  • John the Baptist brought a baptism of repentance in preparation as he heralded Jesus’ coming.

Gospel : Luke 1:57-66, 80

The hand of the Lord was with John.

  • John is established by the report of his circumcision as wholly part of the people of Israel. This is important to note so that Luke can argue that Christianity is the direct descendant of Pharisaic Judaism.
  • Luke is the only evangelist who reports the birth of Jesus. All of them report on John’s mission.
  • In contrast to the large gathering welcoming Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s newborn, John, Mary and Joseph were on the road with no place to stay at Jesus’ birth.
  • God chose John’s name.