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Tuesday, June 24, 1997

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Birth of St. John the Baptizer

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 139
Acts 13:22-26
Luke 1:57-66, 80

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at work in the womb

"Before you were born I dedicated you." —Jeremiah 1:5 "From my mother's womb He gave me my name." —Isaiah 49:1

Certain liturgical celebrations have taken on new significance in our "culture of death." For instance, the feast of the Holy Innocents is more important than ever before. Also, the feasts of the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Immaculate Conception, and the Birthday of John the Baptizer have added significance today. These feast days show that the Lord is doing great works in and through our lives from the moment of our being conceived and continuing throughout the nine months in our mothers' wombs. While in his mother's womb, John received the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:15) and was instrumental in his mother, Elizabeth, receiving the Spirit and prophesying (Lk 1:41-42). Then the Lord worked through John and Elizabeth in inspiring Mary to prophesy and magnify the Lord (Lk 1:41-46).

The Lord is doing great works in and through newly conceived, pre-born children. The Psalmist proclaims: "Truly You have formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother's womb. I give You thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works" (Ps 139:13-14). Respect life not only in its beginning, but also let these little children be used by the Lord to transform your life.

Prayer:  Father, use the youngest and oldest people to lead me to repentance.

Promise:  "The child grew up and matured in spirit." —Lk 1:80

Praise:  God anointed the birth of St. John so powerfully that "throughout the hill country of Judea" the story of his birth "began to be recounted to the last detail" (Lk 1:65).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996