Nativity of John the Baptist

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity of John the Baptist, one of the saints who inspires me tremendously. Although we typically focus on John during the Advent season, we also celebrate his birth. Why?

Father Peter John Cameron, O.P., suggests a number of reasons we celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist. He writes that the nativity is a “sacred reminder” of things that we need born in our lives each day. The items on his list provide some good fruit for reflection. Here are some of the things he lists, along with my suggestion of where you reflection on them might lead you.

Johns birth is a reminder that we need:
“someone who leaps with joy before the presence of the Lord making me want to live my own relationship with Jesus with greater ardor and fervor”
Is my joy in the Jesus evident to others? Do I have sufficient ardor and fervor for God?

“someone who turns my attention away from my distractions and preconceptions so that I will behold the Lamb of God as the true desire of my heart”
Am I distracted in my prayer? What keeps me from recognizing Jesus as the true desire of my heart?

“somone who models for me that there is no greater joy in my life than for Jesus to increase and for me to decrease, especially as regards my self-reliance, my self-assertion, my self-importance”
Am I willing to depend on Jesus rather than on myself? What does it mean to me to die to myself so that I may live in Christ?

“someone so committed to the truth that he is willing to lay down his life for the Truth-made-flesh – witnessing to me that all true happiness comes through self-sacrifice.”
Do I have the faith of John? Would I give up all for the sake of Christ?

Why not take one or more of these in your prayer today as we celebrate John’s nativity.