I cannot help but think of my family when I read the Gospel for today. The birth of John the Baptist was presented in the Gospel reading – his birth, how he was named, how he grew strong in spirit, and how he spent his life living in the desert until he appeared openly to Israel to proclaim about the Messiah.
Every family has unique characteristics. Some families live simply, while others dwell in comfort and extravagance. Some are blessed to have a complete family, while many make do with absentee members.
I grew up in an unassuming and single-parent household. My mother was the only one who raised me and my siblings because our father left us when I was only three months in my mother’s womb. When I was growing up, many people expected me to be a rebel and a brat since I came from a broken family. But this was not the case. I know it has not been easy for my mother to raise us well without a stable job, but with the Lord’s providence and my grandfather’s help, I was able to finish my studies and help my family. Now, through God’s love and grace, I am in a seminary responding to His call.
There are times in our lives when we limit a person’s possibilities. We think badly of someone or associate something negative with a person because of his situation or family condition. While it is true that being raised by good parents or being in a good family is an advantage that could affect the child’s upbringing, we still cannot box and limit the possibilities because each one of us can make our own choices that will lead us to where we want to be. If we allow Him, God will always be there to help us and be with us every step of the way.
By: Sem. Eric Yabut
Lk 1:57-66, 80
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.