Reflection for the Birth of John the Baptist…June 24, 2018 by Judy Moe McCallum, Notre Dame Associate
God promised Zachariah that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son in her older age, and when she conceived, it was Elizabeth who fully understood and believed the miracle. When asked the child’s name, she did not offer the name of her husband, but the name John, a name ordained by God. Her husband, Zachariah, who was without speech, woke up to the wisdom and deep faith in God of his wife and wrote on a tablet: “His name shall be John,” and God restored his speech. What wonders, then, proceeded as the child grew to become John the Baptist who would baptize Christ.
What promise have we been given by God? How can we, like Elizabeth, come to hear and understand the promise? How can we follow the command of God as Elizabeth did, even when it goes against custom? To not name a child after the father was a brave step for her. But in her faith, she was able to follow God’s command, even amidst the murmurings of the people around her. And she was able, as a wife and now as a mother, to inspire her husband to follow God’s word. How do we give ourselves up so wholly to God as Elizabeth did? How do we find the same deep faith as Elizabeth’s that we might announce in joy the path that God has chosen for us? How can we, like Elizabeth, inspire others to rejoice and answer God’s call for them?