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dc.contributor.authorHamm, Dennis, S.J.en_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary number: 587en_US
dc.description.abstractWhat is a 21st-century North American Christian supposed to celebrate in the birth of John the Baptist? Of course, as the forerunner (and apparently also the mentor) of Jesus, he is a key figure in salvation history, and there is a long tradition of celebrating the birth of an important figure. But still, is there some special message for us in the Baptist's birthday? This time around, what I'm hearing is HUMILITY. Let me explain. "Humility" means knowing your place, and it helps to know that the word comes from the Latin word, humus ("earth"). The humble person knows that he or she is a creature made from the earth ("dust thou art") and truly has his or her feet "on the ground." Humility does not mean groveling or bad-mouthing oneself. It means knowing one's place, which includes the glorious sense of knowing that one is part of something greater than oneself-the very work of God!|Recall that something was flawed in his father's faith when he heard the angelic announcement of his miraculous conception. Luke doesn't make it explicit, but Zechariah's faith was sufficiently flawed that he was struck temporarily mute, and he was unable to bless the crowd gathered in the temple precincts at the close of the afternoon sacrifice. In today's reading-nine months and eight days later-we see the extended family gathered for the circumcision of the newborn, all set to name the child after his dad, when Elizabeth, apparently having learned of Gabriel's mandate from Zechariah, insists on the name John. Acting as if Zechariah was deaf as well and dumb (and maybe he was), the family signals a request for his nomination, and he confirms Elizabeth's insistence on John. What Elizabeth and Zechariah do here is a simple act of humility-the humility of obedience.|The reading from Acts recalls that the grown-up John, who mentored Jesus in his baptism movement, insisted that Jesus was greater than himself-indeed, that he was not worthy to untie Jesus' sandals. Knowing his place, John played a crucial part on God's life with the people of Israel and the revelation of Israel's Messiah.|Cut now to Dallas and the meeting of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Watching them on C-Span last night, I was impressed with the humility of these men. I have learned to associate C-Span and legislators with congresspersons grandstanding for any possible constituents that may be among the TV audience. But these ecclesial legislators were clearly chastened men humbly attempting to find the right words to do the right thing in the formation of policy regarding the handling of clerics accused of sex-abuse. What a difference!|Humility, finding our real place "on the ground"-that's what I think we should find in the celebration of John the Baptist today. The Roman Catholic church is undergoing a public humiliation these days. That feels like bad news, and it is. But the good news is that we are being purified. And we, along with out bishops, are learning once again that the whole point of being part of the Church is responding to the reality that we are part of something much greater than ourselves-greater, even, than being priests and bishops. We are rediscovering that our place-laity and clergy alike-is to serve God's redemptive plan that we are to serve one another-and the rest of the world-in the Spirit of Jesus. That's humility-which shows us to be both smaller and larger than we ever dreamed.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.subject.otherNativity of St. John the Baptist, Solemnityen_US
dc.titleReflection for Monday, June 24, 2002: Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Solemnity.en_US
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.program.unitCollege of Arts and Sciencesen_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorHamm, M. Dennis, S.J.en_US Timeen_US 12en_US
dc.subject.local1Isaiah 49:1-6en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15en_US
dc.subject.local3Acts 13:22-26en_US
dc.subject.local4Luke 1:57-66, 80en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US Aen_US

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    Reflections written by Creighton University faculty, staff, and administrators on the daily mass readings.

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