Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist

June 24

Readings: Isaiah 49:1-6 -- Acts 13:22-26 -- Luke 1:57-66, 80

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"From my mother's womb he gave me my name" writes Isaiah, Luke records that when Mary met Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, the baby within her leaped for joy.

Today we celebrate the forerunner of the Messiah, John the Baptizer, who preached repentance and baptism on the banks of the Jordan River. We are reminded this day of the necessity of preaching repentance to all people -- including the rich and the powerful. And we note that both the baby John, and the baby Jesus, while within the womb, were persons.

The modern and post-modern Cultures of Death that so afflict the poor in this era do not respect the dignity of the human person before birth. It's not a baby, it's a piece of tissue, to be removed at will and for convenience, and disposed of.

We've come a long and dangerous road when the murder of a baby and the removal of a hang-nail are considered to be moral equivalents. Today we go to Our Lady of Sorrows in grief and sadness for the millions of unborn children lost to abortion since the rise of the modern Cultures of Death. May we have the faith of Elizabeth and Zechariah, and the passion of their son John, to speak boldly to power in our own day and defend the unborn from those who would destroy the innocent.

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