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Vol: 45, No.37 NATIVITY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST ( B) June 24 2018  
A man was sent from God, whose name was John. He came to testify to the light, to prepare a people fit for the Lord. (Jn 1:6-7)
We all look forward to the celebration of our birthdays. This is a privilege we enjoy as long as we are alive, but once we are united to the Lord by death birthdays becomes irrelevant. But the Church has made exceptions in the case of three persons whose birthdays are also celebrated. They are Mary, the mother of Jesus, John the Baptist, and Jesus himself. Today we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus our Lord. His birth was marked by extraordinary events that the neighbours and relatives asked the question, “What then will this child be?” John the Baptist became an able preacher who called the people to repentance and conversion; and died a martyr’s death. What aspect of the person of John the Baptist is appealing to me? Am I committed to my mission as John? (Pause)
I Confess to almighty God/and to you,/ my brothers and sisters,/ that I have greatly sinned,/ in my thoughts and in my words,/ in what I have done/and in what I have failed to do,/ through my fault,/ through my fault,/ through my most grievous fault;/ therefore I ask blessed Mary ever Virgin,/ all the Angels and Saints,/ and you, my brothers and sisters,/ to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Glory to God...
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.
(This passage deals with the commissioning of Isaiah. His vocation is to make known the salvific plan of God to the nations).
A reading from the Book of Isaiah

Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.” And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honoured in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength—he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the
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