Thank you for joining the Good Shepherd Live Stream Mass for Wednesday 6/24/2020, Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Wednesday 6/24/2020

Reading 1 IS 49:1-6

Hear me, O coastlands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

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.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm 139:1B-3, 13-14AB, 14C-15

R.    (14)  I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R.    I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R.    I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R.    I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Reading 2 ACTS 13:22-26

In those days, Paul said:
“God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

“My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.”

Alleluia SEE LK 1:76

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Fidelity to God After a Fall

He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Luke 1:63-64

Zechariah provides a great witness to all of us of one who sinned by lacking faith in God, but after suffering the humiliation of his sin, he became truly faithful and ended up “blessing God.”

We are familiar with his story.  His wife became pregnant with John the Baptist by a miracle in her old age.  When it was revealed to Zechariah by an angel that this would take place, he failed to have faith in this promise and doubted.  The result was that he was struck mute until the moment that John was born.  It was at that moment when Zechariah acted in fidelity to the revelation of God by naming his baby “John” as the angel had requested.  This act of fidelity on Zechariah’s part loosened his tongue and he began to speak the praises of God.

This witness of Zechariah should be an inspiration to all who seek to follow the will of God in their lives but have failed.  There are many times when God speaks to us, we hear Him, but we fail to believe in what He says.  We fail in fidelity to His promises.  The result is that we suffer the effects of that sin.

At first, the effects of sin in our lives can seem like a punishment.  Indeed, in many ways they are.  It’s not a punishment from God; rather, it’s a punishment of sin.  Sin has devastating consequences in our lives.  But the good news is that those consequences of sin are permitted by God as a way of drawing us back to fidelity to Him.  And if we allow them to humble us and change us like Zechariah did, we will be able to turn from a life of infidelity to the will of God to a life of fidelity.  And a life of fidelity will enable us to ultimately sing the praises of our God.

Reflect, today, upon the ways that you have not been faithful to God in your life.  But think of it in the context of hope.  Hope that God will receive you back and transform your life if you return to Him.  God is waiting and His mercy is abundant.  Allow His mercy to fill you with a heart that blesses the goodness of God.

Lord, help me to see my past sins not so much in despair, but as reasons to return to You in greater fidelity.  No matter how many times I have fallen, help me to get back up and to faithfully sing Your praises.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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