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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Laying His Hands On Us


Birthday of St John the Baptist
24 June 2018


First reading                                                                      Isaiah 49:1-6

Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me. 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 cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.” And now the Lord says, who formed me in 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 sight 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 tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Second reading                                                     Acts 13:22-26

In those days, Paul said: God made David king of our ancestors.. In his testimony about him he said, “I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.” Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Saviour, Jesus, as he promised; before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said, “What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.” “My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.

Gospel                                                                    
Luke 1:57-66, 80

The time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.


Reflection
By Bernard M. Borja

It always amazes me when I remember stories I’ve heard about the childhood days of my father. At a very young age, he did not go much into playing games. He had to work and help his mother earn a living by repairing broken umbrellas and sometimes selling it. They needed to walk far from their home, shouting what they offer, just to find customers. Some of his spare time are spent in thinking of other ways to earn. What’s more amazing is how he was able to think like adults do during his time. At a very young age, I believe he already earned the title “entrepreneur”. There was a time when he was able to sell homemade ice cream on sticks without a supplier, and without a refrigerator. He bought ingredients using a part of his earnings, made the ice cream at their home, and then he went to his friend’s house who has a refrigerator. He made a deal with his friend to rent a part of their refrigerator, in which the payment will come from the ice cream’s sales. In simple things, he was able to achieve more than a person can imagine. 

Not long ago, I was able to hear conversations from my father and one of his long time friends who came back from abroad. As they were reminiscing their younger days where they grew up, I realized that my father did not only go through the challenges of working at a young age just to help his family and finance his own education. He has also inspired the people around him to work hard for their dreams and loved ones. I believe his mother felt God’s favor every time my father pours his heart into everything he does. Because surely, the hand of the Lord was with him. 

John the Baptist came in to the world to prepare the way of our Lord Jesus. God took care of him through Elizabeth and Zechariah until the day he started his ministry. God’s hand continued to touch him to reveal the good message of the coming of the Messiah. I believe that God also does this to us. He continues to touch our earthly fathers and entrust a mission that they are bonded to for the rest of their life. Before our earthly fathers bore the life mission of raising a family, they were also once a child who grew up  and became strong in spirit. 

As I remember how hard it was for my father to work at a young age, I become more grateful that God sent a wonderful being to be not just a pillar of the home, but also of strength, hope, courage, and love. And I am honored to receive a life mission similar to his, which God continues to lay His hands on everything that I do for me to be a channel of His wonderful blessings to others

Prayer


Dear Lord, we thank You for continuing to lay hands on us as we go on our mission in life. Thank You for giving us a role model, in the person of our earthly fathers, to inspire us to believe that Your miracles and blessings are always with us in everything that we do. We pray for more of Your miracles to help people grow and become strong in Your spirit.In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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