Monday, 23 June 2008

Dying son

Today is a special day in the liturgical calendar that I can relate too. This is the feast of St. John the Baptist the precursor (or the nativity of St. John the Baptist or the Birth of St. John the Baptist). I remember on this day 2 years ago, I was in the Scots College in Salamanca Spain preparing to go to seminary. It was a time when those preparing to go to seminary (who'd been accepted by their bishops) went on retreat together and go to know one-another. I'll maybe share more on the retreat later on, but I want to reflect on the feast.

The priest who celebrated the Mass told us in the Homily a bit about the liturgical significance of feast. He said how really when you think of this feast you would normally associate it with a sort of Christmas feast and not a summer one. He then went onto explain that as the sun goes down earlier, and the days get shorter the Church reflects on the mission of it's members.

Like the shorter days, St. John the baptist was in many ways a 'dying son'. He prepared a way for the Lord... The emphasis was never on St John himself, it was always on the coming of the Lamb of God - it was on Jesus. We celebrate the Nativity of the Lord when the world is in Darkness and easter in a time of new life; so too do were celebrate the nativity of St. John the Baptist when the days become darker.

The priest said how we should focus on how we view ourselves; how the focus should never be 'on us' but rather always on Jesus Christ. We become less in the eyes of the world so that Jesus may become all, to desire nothing in order to possess everything which is Jesus Christ (cf St. John of the Cross)

I was always very moved by the fact that (even though the priest and I never got on in terms of visions of the Church) I am called to be a dying son of God, to die to myself and to become born again and raised up by the power of the Gospel.

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