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Thursday, June 24, 2010

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Birth of St. John the Baptizer

Isaiah 49:1-6
Acts 13:22-26
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Luke 1:57-66, 80

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happy birthday! merry christmas!

"When Elizabeth's time for delivery arrived, she gave birth to a son." —Luke 1:57

Today throughout the world we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptizer. We also recall that we are midway between the Christmas celebration of Jesus' birthday of 2009 and that of 2010. Today can also be a birthday for us. The Lord is willing to bring to birth something new in our lives. He promises: "See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" (Is 43:19)

However, to give birth in a spiritual way, we must go through the labor pains of the baptism of repentance (Acts 13:24). To open our spiritual womb, we must obey God in a new and radical way. For example, when Zechariah obeyed the Lord in naming his child John, "his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed" (Lk 1:64). We too will be opened up when we obey the Lord as never before.

Do you have anything in your life you are rationalizing, procrastinating, or holding back from the Lord? Is there any area where you are rebellious to authority? Are you willing to ask John the Baptizer to pray for you? Will you ask the Spirit to convict you of sin? (Jn 16:8) Do you go to Confession at least monthly? If you are willing to repent and obey, today will be a birthday and even a Christmas day for you. Happy birthday to the repentant! Merry Christmas to the obedient!

Prayer:  Father, thank You for another birthday.

Promise:  "Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God." —Is 49:4

Praise:  "Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel because He has visited and ransomed His people" (Lk 1:68). Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009

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