John the Baptist

The birth of John was miraculous: Luke tells us his parents were beyond the age of having children; Elizabeth, John’s mother, was sterile. Still miraculously, John leaped in his mother’s womb at the presence of Jesus, in the womb of Mary. That John is mentioned in the Gospels at all is miraculous: he never became a follower of Jesus, asking to the end, "Are you the one to come, or should we wait for another?" Why does Luke begin his story of Jesus with the conception and birth of John? Cartainly, later in life John defended with his total person the God he adored and served. But more to the point for Luke was his realization, then presentation in Gospel form, that the mighty salvation of human beings began with God’s eruption into human affairs with the announcement that Elizabeth would have a child. With her conception of John the salvation of the world began. This salvation would be offere to the end of the world, Luke says: at the moment we are that ’end of the world’. Salvation comes from calling on the name of Jesus, but the beginning of God’s decision to save began in the womb of Elizabeth. She was the first, but hardly the last of us, to rejoice at the kindness of God. John Kilgallen, S.J.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018