Word for the Weekend: June 24

The tablet on which Zechariah, father of the Baptist, 
wrote "His name is John" was likely a wooden block 
covered in wax on which one wrote with a stylus.

Every year the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24 which this year falls on a Sunday.  A Solemnity trumps a Sunday in Ordinary Time and so this weekend we'll all be celebrating John the Baptist's birthday.

This Solemnity has a vigil and so there are two sets of readings this weekend, one set for the vigil Mass and one for the Mass during the day.  You'll find some commentary here and for those who are bringing children to Mass this weekend, hints for helping them prepare to hear the Word are found here.
The greatness of John, his pivotal place in the history of salvation, is seen in the great emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. John attracted countless people (“all Judea”) to the banks of the Jordan, and it occurred to some people that he might be the Messiah. But he constantly deferred to Jesus, even to sending away some of his followers to become the first disciples of Jesus.  (AmericanCatholic)


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