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Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Years ABC

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Lectionary: 587 (Mass during the Day)
Read the Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80

Gospel Summary
Earlier in Luke's gospel we learn that Elizabeth and Zechariah are elderly, but miraculously are expecting a baby. When an angel tells Zechariah that he will have a son, Zechariah questions how that can be. Because he questioned the angel, he was silenced until the baby was born. Today's gospel begins with John's birth. Elizabeth's neighbors ask her what she plans to name the baby. Since the angel had instructed them to, they planned to name their baby, John. The name John means Yahweh has shown favor. The people were amazed by this because it was customary to name a baby after his father. They turned to Zechariah to confirm Elizabeth's unusual answer. On a table, he wrote that the boy's name would be John. At that moment Zechariah was once again able to speak, and the first thing he did was praise God.

Reflection for Families
The destinies of John and Jesus are closely linked. John will eventually go about proclaiming the coming of Jesus, the messiah. The message John proclaims is the Good News of Jesus. Like John, we are all called to tell others about Jesus' saving power. Help one another recognize the way each person shows God's love to others. It might be actions, words, prayers.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Using photos or other memorabilia, recall the birth or adoption of each member of your family. Talk about the events of the day, who was there, what people said or did. Tell one another what is the good news of each person's arrival and why each member of the family is valued.

Discussion Starters
1. Like Zechariah, there was a time when I was so filled with joy that I could only speak praising and thanking God ...
2. Just as God had a plan for John, I think God's plan for me is ...
3. One way I will be a messenger of Jesus' love this week is by ...

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