Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Novena of Gospel Meditations on St. John the Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is a Solemnity (the most solemn class of feast day) and is celebrated on June 24 - six months before Christmas ("In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God..." Lk 1:26). It is traditional to begin praying a novena in honor of a saint so that the it ends the day before his or her feast day, or by beginning the novena on the feast day itself. In light of St. John the Baptist's upcoming feast day, here is a list of nine gospel passages which may be daily prayerfully read, or meditated upon, in his honor. They follow the life and ministry, from beginning to end, of this great saint, of whom our Lord said "among those born of women, none is greater than John" (Luke 7:28). At the core of his message is how to receive Christ in a spirit of repentance and poverty of spirit, that we may be forgiven and become children of God through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (Jn. 1:29, cf. 36). I'm sorry that this is posted too late for a novena which would end on the day before his feast day.

First Day - Luke 1:5-25

Second Day - Luke 1:39-56

Third Day - Luke 3:1-18Fourth Day - Matthew 3:13-17

Fifth Day - John 1:19-34

Sixth Day - John 3:22-30

Seventh Day - Luke 7:18-35

Eighth Day - Mark 6:14-29

Ninth Day - Luke 1:57-80

The voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3)

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