Birth of John the Baptist 2014

“Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.” (Luke 1:64)

Saint Maximus of Turin offers the following insight on this verse from today's Gospel:

“When John his son was born, among his neighbors there was concern about what name he should be given. Writing tablets were offered to his father so that he himself could put down the name that he had decided upon, so that he might express in writing what he could not in speech. Then, in a wonderful manner, when he had taken the tablets in order to begin writing, his tongue was loosened, the written word gave way to speech, and he did not write “John” but spoke it. Consider, then, the merit of the holy Baptist: he gave his father back his voice, he restored the faculty of speech to the priest. Consider, I say, his merit: John unloosed the mouth that the angel had bound. What Gabriel had closed the little child unlocked. When John is born the father suddenly becomes a prophet or priest, speech attains its use, love receives an offspring, the office recognizes the priest.” (Sermon 6)

O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen