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Scripture reflection: Testify to the light

14 June 2018

Lectionary reading

First reading: Isaiah 49:1-6.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 138(139):1-3, 13-15.

Second reading: Acts 13:22-26.

Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80.

Link to readings.

Introduction

John the Baptist is the only saint whose birthday is observed by the Church. Today, in the Gospel, we celebrate that birth and the joy it brought. We also remember John’s identity and mission as he is named – just as God calls each one of us by name even before we are born, and invites us to respond to his call.

As a forerunner of the Lord, John was not given his father’s name, but that given by the angel – even before his birth he was chosen to be a bearer of light to the nations (First Reading).

The Psalm affirms that I, too, am chosen to go out testifying to the light.  I am moulded and fashioned for this purpose.

I can trust the Lord. It is his promise and his work in me (Second Reading). God will choose people after his own heart to bring the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

Let us pray this coming week that we, too, might live according to the gift of salvation, asking the Lord for strength to be faithful to the name by which he has called us, as we try to spread light to others.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 138(139):1-3, 13-15.

As always, I begin by trying to become still, noticing how I am feeling.

I read the text slowly, a few times, pausing over any words and phrases that touch me in some way. I ponder why this is so, as I entrust myself to the Holy Spirit and to the living Word.

Now I may like to read the text with John the Baptist in mind – he, too, was called and fashioned for a purpose. What do I notice about him as I read? What strikes me about the Lord who is doing the searching and the moulding?

Perhaps I now try reading with myself in mind. My very being is wondrous! Can I truly say ‘yes’ to this with a grateful heart?

I may like to picture the Lord creating me, giving his full loving attention to my

every detail.

How do I feel?

Being created in this way opens me up – nothing can be hidden.

How does it make me feel to be fully known by the Lord… apprehensive, protective, fearful… or free, overjoyed, secure…?

In all honesty, I talk to the Lord about this.

As I bring my prayer to a close, I ask for the grace to always trust in the Lord who knows me body, soul and spirit, and who continues to call, mould and fashion me.

Glory be…

Gospel

Luke 1:57-66, 80.

I place myself in the hands of the Lord as I read this Gospel prayerfully. What strikes me as I read? What do I feel within?

I take my time and pause often.

In due course, I may like to pray with one or more of the lines from the text

suggested below.

All those who heard about the birth of John ‘treasured it in their hearts’ –

what do I treasure in my heart?

Memories… hopes… family… some piece of good news?

‘What will this child turn out to be’? A relative or friend may have recently given birth, or I may like to think of children I know (perhaps my own).

I ponder their call to life and their growth to maturity. For what can I be grateful? Can I share their joy?

‘The hand of the Lord was with John’. Do I have a sense of the hand of the Lord with me now, guiding me towards a more mature spiritual life?

I may feel drawn to ponder my own sense of purpose, remembering how the Lord called my name even before I was born (today’s First Reading).

As I come to a close, I speak to the Lord from the heart.

I may be moved to pray for those who are about to give birth; for those who have lost children, or have experienced great pain in pregnancy or in childbirth; or for those unable to have children for whatever reason.

Our Father…

 

Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham

 

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