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Saturday, June 24, 2023

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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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god’s bulldozer

“What will this child be?” —Luke 1:66

St. John the Baptizer was the “front man” for Jesus. “John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel” (Acts 13:24).

John was a spiritual bulldozer who cleared God a straight path and prepared a highway for Jesus (see Is 40:3-4; Lk 3:3-5). A good example of the effects of John’s spiritual bulldozing is found in an incident described in John 10:39-42. Jesus had been preaching in Jerusalem, and the Jewish leaders rejected Him. They “tried to arrest Him, but He eluded their grasp” (Jn 10:39). John had not spent any time baptizing in Jerusalem; his ministry was generally spent in the desert. Jesus’ visit to Jerusalem had not been prepared for by a “front man” preaching repentance. Without such preparation, the people rejected Him.

Jesus left Jerusalem and “went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and while He stayed there many people came to Him” (Jn 10:40-41). John had testified about Jesus in the desert, and his testimony prepared a straight path for the Lord into the hearts of the people of that area. The people “commented, ‘...Whatever John said about this man was true.’ In that place, many came to believe in” Jesus (Jn 10:41-42).

In one place, John had ministered a baptism of repentance and the people of that place received Jesus and came to believe in Him. In another place, which did not have that intense road-grading baptism of repentance, Jesus was rejected. Repent! Clear out any baggage in your life that blocks the Lord’s way. Prepare “a straight path” for the Lord in your life (Lk 3:4) by repenting of all sin.

Prayer:  Father, I will repent and go to Confession immediately. May St. John’s bulldozer clear a straight path in my life.

Promise:  “My God is now my Strength!” —Is 49:5

Praise:  St. John the Baptizer prayed: “[Jesus] must increase, while I must decrease” (Jn 3:30).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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