Daily Gospel – Monday, June 24, 2024 – Luke 1,57-66.80 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Isaiah 49,1-6)

Reading of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

Marine nations, listen to me, distant peoples, pay attention: the Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he had my name in mind; he made my word a sharp sword, protected me in the shadow of his hand, and made me a sharp arrow, hidden in his quiver, and said to me, “You are my Servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” And I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength without fruit, in vain; yet the Lord will give me justice, and my God will reward me.” And now the Lord says to me-he who prepared me from birth to be his Servant-that I should recover Jacob for him and make Israel unite with him; In the eyes of the Lord this is my glory. He said: “It is not enough for you to be my Servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the remnants of Israel: I will make you a light of the nations, so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Second Reading (Acts 13,22-26)

Reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

In those days, Paul said: God raised up David as king and thus testified about him: “I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do my will in everything.” As he promised, from the descendants of David God raised up a Savior for Israel, who is Jesus. Before he arrived, John preached a baptism of conversion to all the people of Israel. When he was about to finish his mission, John declared: “I am not who you think I am! But look, he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not even worthy to untie.” Brothers, descendants of Abraham, and all of you who fear God, this message of salvation has been sent to us.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Luke 1,57-66.80)

Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke.

— Glory to you, Lord.

The time of Elizabeth’s pregnancy was completed, and she gave birth to a son. Neighbors and relatives heard how merciful the Lord had been to Elizabeth, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day, they went to circumcise the boy, and wanted to name him after his father, Zechariah. But the mother said: “No! His name will be João”. The others said: “There is no relative of yours with that name!” Then they signaled to the father, asking what he wanted the boy to be called. Zechariah asked for a tablet, and wrote: “John is his name.” And everyone was amazed. Instantly, Zechariah’s mouth opened, his tongue loosened, and he began to praise God. All the neighbors were afraid, and the news spread throughout the hill country of Judea. And everyone who heard the news kept thinking: “What will this boy become?” Indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. And the boy grew and became stronger in spirit. He lived in desert places until the day he presented himself publicly to Israel.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, we are blessed with deeply inspiring readings that invite us to reflect on God’s plan for our lives and the unique role each of us plays in His grand design. As we meditate on passages from Isaiah, Acts and Luke, we will discover how God knows us from the womb, calls us by name and prepares us to fulfill a special mission in the world.

In the first reading, from the book of Isaiah, we hear the prophet proclaiming: “The Lord called me before I was born; from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.” These words resonate deeply in our hearts. They remind us that we are not the result of chance, but rather the intentional creation of a loving God who knows us intimately and has a purpose for each of us. Isaiah reveals to us that God not only calls us, but also equips us for the mission. “He made my mouth a sharp sword and protected me with the shadow of his hand.” This verse is a powerful metaphor, showing that, just as a sword needs to be sharp and well cared for to be effective, we are also prepared and protected by God to be instruments of his will.

Let’s think of a craftsman molding a beautiful clay vase. He begins with a formless mass and, with patience and skill, forms something of great value and beauty. Likewise, God, the great craftsman, shapes our lives, giving us form and purpose, even when we don’t fully understand His plan.

In the second reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Paul tells us about the crucial role of John the Baptist in God’s plan of salvation. “Before Jesus arrived, John preached a baptism of conversion to all the people of Israel.” John the Baptist was sent as a forerunner, preparing the way for the Lord. His mission was clear: to call the people to repentance and conversion, so that they would be ready to receive the Messiah.

The life of John the Baptist teaches us about the importance of humility and obedience to God’s call. João knew his mission was to prepare the way for someone greater than himself. He said, “I am not the one you think I am. One comes after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” John the Baptist shows us that, to fulfill our role in God’s plan, we must recognize our dependence on Him and be willing to serve in a humble and selfless way.

We now come to the gospel of Luke, which narrates the birth of John the Baptist. This is a time of great joy and hope. Isabel, his mother, was considered sterile, and his father, Zechariah, remained silent after doubting the angel Gabriel’s announcement. But God, in His infinite mercy, accomplished the impossible, bringing life where there was once despair.

When Zechariah wrote on the tablet, “His name is John,” his mouth opened and he began to praise God. This act of naming the child according to God’s will, and not according to family tradition, was a sign of obedience and faith. It is a powerful reminder that our lives should be shaped by God’s will, not by human customs or expectations.

Verse 80 of the gospel tells us that “the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until the day that he presented himself to Israel.” John the Baptist prepared himself in the silence and solitude of the desert to fulfill his mission. This period of preparation teaches us that we often need moments of stillness and reflection to strengthen ourselves spiritually and be ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

So what can we learn and apply from these passages in our daily lives? First, it is crucial that we recognize that each of us has a unique calling from God. Like Isaiah, we were known and called by God before we were born. We have a specific mission that only we can fulfill. To discover and accomplish this mission, we must cultivate a deep relationship with God through prayer, reading the Scriptures, and participating in the sacraments.

Second, the life of John the Baptist teaches us the importance of humility and preparation. We must be willing to live our faith authentically and courageously, even if it means going against social expectations and norms. Spiritual preparation is essential; Just as John withdrew into the desert, we also need moments of retreat and silence to hear God’s voice and strengthen ourselves for the mission.

Finally, the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth reminds us that God is faithful and can do the impossible. Even when we face obstacles and challenges that seem insurmountable, we can trust that God is working in our lives, often in ways we can’t immediately see.

Let us now pause and quietly reflect on how these lessons apply to our lives. Let us close our eyes and ask God to show us our purpose and give us the courage and humility to follow Him.

Lord God, we thank you for calling us by name and giving us a purpose. Help us to recognize our unique calling and live according to Your will. May we, like John the Baptist, prepare the way for You in our hearts and in the lives of those around us. It strengthens us spiritually and gives us the courage to live our faith authentically and courageously. Amen.

As we leave this sacred place today, let us remember that each of us is an essential piece in God’s great plan. May we live our lives with purpose and determination, always seeking to fulfill God’s will with humility and faith. May the grace and peace of Christ be with you all. Amen.