Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 71  Mass during the Vigil

R. (6) Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.

Responsorial Psalm 139 Mass during the Day

R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.
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.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

The Nativity of John the Baptist: God’s Plan For Us

The Responsorial Psalms from both the vigil Mass and Mass of the day explains how each one of us have been called by God to a particular vocation in life even from the moment of our conception.   

John the Baptist accepted and embraced his vocation which led him to an austere lifestyle in the desert and preparing people for the arrival of the Messiah.  But each of us also has our own vocation to live out in cooperation with God’s unfolding plan. 

What exactly is your vocation?  As baptized Christians each one of us has been called by God to give witness to the teachings of Jesus as members of the Church He established.  This is the general vocation of every Christian, but a more specific vocation for each individual become more evident as life progresses.  In general, my vocation is to act like a Christian, specifically, I have been called to be a priest serving Jesus and His Church by way of administering the Sacraments as channels of grace to God’s people.  You may be a Christian who is also called to be married, to help one another draw closer to God and holiness. Most married couples are also called to be parents.  Likewise, you have been called to share your Faith with your children and to lead them to holiness to the best of your abilities as well as taking care of their physical and emotional needs. As a Christian you may be called to the single life, and as such you have the ability to give of yourself to others in service in very many ways.   You may be a Christian teenager.  Therefore you are being called to discern well and to prepare for your future, so you can assume your future responsibilities as a morally good Catholic.

Each one of us is being called to participate in God’s plan.  Like Saint John the Baptist we have a choice to either to discern and embrace our vocation in life or to reject it, often many times throughout our lifetime.  Our baptism gives us the foundational vocation to be an active member of God’s family. Building upon this foundation will require our thoughtfulness and cooperation and a willingness to develop a more specific vocation within our life using to our own time, talent and treasure.  Like John the Baptist, we too have been called to live our own unique lives in such a way that it points to Jesus Christ as being the Lamb of God, our Lord and Savior.

Fr. Tom