Home » Gospel Reflections » June 24, 2018: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Gospel reflection

June 24, 2018: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Reading: Luke 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.


Elizabeth too must have wondered “What, then, will this child be?
The name John means God is gracious and God had certainly been gracious to her. She had been an older barren woman who now had a child named by God and then there was young Mary. Something of great significance seemed to be happening.

At the circumcision, we see Elizabeth’s strength and resolve when those around her try to control the naming of her son. She stands firm and emphatically says “No, he will be called John.” For her, this child would have no other name. Zechariah concurs, but Elizabeth doesn’t need her husband regaining his speech to know that the hand of the Lord is with her son.


In what ways are you still in the process of answering the question: “What, then, will this child be?” When have you experienced the hand of God in your life? Do your life, words and actions point to yourself or beyond self to who you are becoming as a child of God? What can you change in your daily routine that will help you become more attentive to the nudging of Providence in your life?

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Sara Bennett

Sara is a Providence Associate and became acquainted with the Sisters of Providence while obtaining a master's in Pastoral Theology degree at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She lives in Machesney Park, Illinois and currently provides a helping hand to folks who are homebound, facilitates a parish prayer group and is part of a group ministry that delivers food from her parish pantry to senior living facilities. Sara retired in 2015 after 30 years with The Boeing Company.

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