Tuesday, June 24, 2008

St John the Baptist

Today, we celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist, the herald of our Lord. It seems to me, that he is not that well known among modern Catholics. It seems surprising to most Catholics that today, the 24th of June, is the midway between Christmases. The beautiful symbolism behind such a great feast , which I’m sure most know about is, that in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the high point of Summer, when the days are longer. The liturgy of the Cosmos mirrors John’s Words, “I must he decease and he must increase”, the Sun, symbolizing firstly St John, gradually decreases, as the year moves from Summer into winter. Just as St John, he diminishes in splendor. Then just as we hit the dead of winter, (December 25th, the next day) Christ is born, the light of the world and the Sun begins its triumphal march.

The Feast even has a vigil, mirroring Christmas Eve. St John the Baptist is remembered in the Roman Confiteor, Our Lord, himself that there is no greater man born of a women then St John the Baptist, his Cousin. John the Baptist, spent his life living the life of an aster hermit, living out in a desert, sustained only by locusts and honey. Truly an example for monks and hermits of today. St John is the last of the Old testament prophets, unlike them, he is granted the privilege of seeing, the Lamb of God.

Finally it is important to touch on the manner of his Death. The Gospel tells us that he was beheaded for protesting to Herod about his sexual immoralities; Herod originally did not dare to kill such a holy man. But later, moved by an impure dance of a women and then her wish, he ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded. It seems hardly surprising, that the reason for the death of the greatest man born of woman was actually a woman. Like Eve being the down fall of Adam, a woman indirectly lead to the death of John the Baptist. Women are remarkable creatures, they can be the destruction of man, but they can also be their salvation, not once have holy women lead many a man to the pearly gate.

St John the Baptist, Pray for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the analogy with the sun. I've never heard it before, but it is beautiful.

I wish I could help you out financially with getting to WYD, but I myself am broke as broke can be. I'll pray very intensly for you to get there.
your sister in Christ