Nativity of St. John the Baptist

JB_Nativity

Today is a beautiful feast and one that presents us with many things to consider. For instance, in the long gospel read at liturgy we heard, among other things:  Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.

Good news? Gabriel? Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? When the Archangel used the same line to the Virgin Mary we dedicated an entire feast to it and called it the Annunciation.  But that’s not the case here. Nor was Zachariah’s response anywhere near to that of the Virgin Mary. Is it just me or are women portrayed so much more heroically in the gospels than men.

Like when Elizabeth breaks family tradition later on in the reading: On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

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