Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Reflection by Leona Peszka
Today's Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80 - Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Finding the perfect baby name these days has become quite the undertaking. Many parents are now focused on finding a new or unique name to set their child apart from everyone else, instead of the time-honored tradition of naming a baby after a parent or family member.
In the times of Elizabeth and Zechariah, however, this was not the case. There was great significance associated with a person’s name. Just the mention of a name would tell a story of heritage, reputation and of a family’s standing within the community. So, when presented in the temple after the prescribed time, it was expected that a child, specifically a male, would be named after the father or next of kin.
Now, imagine being surrounded by family and friends and declaring that your child will be called by a name that belongs to absolutely no one in the family.
This is what Elizabeth did, and Zechariah sanctioned, when proclaiming that their long-awaited baby boy would be called John. Despite the discontented cries from those gathered, Elizabeth and Zechariah faithfully abided by God’s Will for them and for their son.
As we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist we are reminded that our God is a God of miracles, providing for our needs and answering our prayers. He gives life to the barren, speech to the mute and grace and mercy to all who surrender to Him and His Will. And, like John and his parents, it will be our example of faith and hope in His promises that will inspire others to believe; strengthening their spirit and preparing their hearts for our Lord’s return.
The name “John” in Hebrew means: “Yahweh has been Gracious” and, truly, John the Baptist was a most gracious gift from a most benevolent God.
Ponder:How can you be an example of faith and an inspiration for others in today’s world?
Lord, help me to listen for and come to know Your will for my life and, in the face of all adversity, have the courage and faith to follow that Will.
Copyright 2020 Leona Peszka
Leona was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and is a graduate of the University of Tampa. She was commissioned as a Lay Ecclesial Minister by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL in June of 2014. She is currently the Program Assistant and Theological Reflection Mentor for the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute in that diocese. Her experience includes involvement in numerous parish liturgical, spiritual and pastoral ministries.
About the Author
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