The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Year B - 24/6/2012 - Gospel: Lk 1:57-66, 80
John's Birthday
The Church does not celebrate the birthday of every saint, except Saint John the Baptist and Mary, the mother of Jesus. However the Church celebrates feast days' of the saints that is the date of their death. The day they enter into the heavenly kingdom. The Church celebrates the birthday of Saint the Baptist not because John is the cousin of Jesus but because he is a humble person, serving God full of joy and utmost reverence. John is humble both in his teaching and at heart.  John was humble at heart when he said.

He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to undo his sandals. Jn 1,24

He has humble at his teaching when he said

I baptised you with water but some is coming who is much greater than I am.... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3,16

The Lord chose the humble man who became the Precursor, the Forerunner before Jesus. He is the voice in the wilderness who paves the way for the Lord. All four gospels tell us of his mission that is preparing the way for the Lord. People listened to him and wanted him to be their messiah. John refused to accept the title.  He preferred to be an unknown person to make Jesus known amongst the people.

I am not the Messiah. Who are you then? They asked. Are you Elijah? No, I am not. John answered. Are you the prophet? They asked. No, he replied. Then tell us who you are.
I am the voice of someone shouting in the desert: make straight path for the Lord to travel. Jn 19-22

John the Baptist lived a very busy life even though he was popular amongst the people and yet he kept a simple life style. He enjoyed his business and simplicity of life. Humility did not make him feel bad or to deny himself self worth, dignity, gifts and talents. No, John knew his mission and he came to the world for one single purpose that was to prepare the way for the Lord. He was happy to fulfil the mission God has asked of him. The spiritual joyfulness happened even before his birth when Mary came to visit her cousin Elizabeth John was in his mother's womb and joyfully jumped for joy to welcome the Lord. The spiritual joyfulness continued throughout his life when he compared himself as a friend for the groom

But the bridegroom's friend, who stands by and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This is how my own happiness is made complete. John 3,30

John the Baptist did not look down on himself but looked at the Lord and was happy to serve the Lord with a thankful heart. He looked at the Lord to find a sense of self-worth and inner peace. He was at peace and joyfully when he sent his disciples to follow Jesus. Humility brings freedom because John knew that everything he had come from the Lord that gave him a sense of satisfaction in serving God. 

We celebrate the birthday of a humble man, John the Baptist, who serves God with great joy and we join him to give thanks to God for our 75th anniversary celebration to remember those who have been serving the parish with a humble heart and a joyful spirit.