Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Years ABC

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Lectionary: 587 (Mass during the Day)
Read the Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80

Gospel Summary
Today’s Gospel reading begins with the story of the birth of John the Baptist. Relatives and friends of his parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, already had a sense that this child was destined for great things. To begin, Elizabeth gave birth well beyond her childbearing years. Then Elizabeth and Zechariah went against tradition and named the baby John, a name not used in either one of their families. When Zechariah wrote on the tablet, “John is his name,” he regained his ability to speak and he used his voice to praise God.

Reflection for Parents
The end of today’s Gospel reading tells us that “[John] grew and became strong in spirit.” Take some time to think about that statement in relation to your home and your family. Home is the primary place where your child grows and becomes strong in spirit. What are you doing in order to help this happen? Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you in creating a home where your child feels safe, nurtured, encouraged, and loved.

Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
Explain that today the Church celebrates the nativity, or birth, of Saint John the Baptist. Invite family members to share what they know about this great man of faith. Remind them that John the Baptist is the person who baptized Jesus.

Display on your family prayer table or kitchen table photos, baptismal garments, baptismal candles, and other reminders of the Baptisms of your family members. Recall the events of the baptismal days, including the names of family members and friends who were there with you. Celebrate how each person has grown in faith since that time—just as John the Baptist grew and became strong in spirit.

Discussion Starters

  1. Today I want to use my voice to praise and thank God for . . .
  2. Just as God had a plan for John the Baptist, I think God’s plan for me . . .
  3. Something I can do to become more strong in spirit is . . .