The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

June 24, 2023

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

The Voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord; behold thy God” (Isaiah 40:3-9) Oh! in this world of ours grown now so cold, who can understand earth’s transports, at hearing these glad tidings so long expected? The promised God is not yet manifested; but already have the heavens bowed down, (Psalm 17:10) to make way for his passage. No longer is He “the One who is to come,” He for whom our fathers, the illustrious saints of the prophetic age, ceaselessly called, in their indomitable hope. Still hidden, indeed, but already in our midst, — He is resting beneath that virginal cloud, compared with which, the heavenly purity of Thrones and Cherubim wax dim; yea, the united fires of burning Seraphim grow faint, in presence of the single love wherewith she alone encompasses him in her human heart, — she that lowly daughter of Adam whom He hath chosen for His mother. Our accursed earth, made suddenly more blessed far, than yonder heaven inexorably closed erstwhile to suppliant prayer, — awaits no longer aught, save that the august mystery be revealed; the hour is come for earth to join her canticles to that Eternal Praise Divine, which henceforth is rising from the depths, and which being itself no other than the Word Himself, celebrates God condignly. But beneath the veil of humility where His Divinity, even after as well as before His birth, must still continue to hide itself from men, — who may discover the Emmanuel? — who, having recognized Him in His merciful abasements, may succeed in making Him to be accepted by a world lost in pride? — who may cry, pointing out the Carpenter’s Son, (Matthew 13:55) in the midst of the crowd: Behold Him whom your fathers have so wistfully awaited!

Gueranger, Dom Prosper. The Liturgical Year: Volume XII - Time After Pentecost - Book Three (pp. 151-152). Kindle Edition.