A reading from the Book of the prophet Malachi
Mal 3:1-4, 23-24
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
Lo, I will send you
Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the LORD comes,
the great and terrible day,
To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
the land with doom.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Luke
Story of Saint John the Baptist
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.”
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER
The entire event of the birth of John the Baptist is surrounded by a joyous sense of wonder, surprise and gratitude. Wonder, surprise, gratitude. The people are filled with a holy fear of God “and all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea” (v. 65). Brothers and sisters, the faithful people sense that something great has occurred, even though it is humble and hidden, and they ask themselves: “What then will this child be?” (v. 66). The faithful People of God are able to live the faith with joy, with a sense of wonder, of surprise and of gratitude. (…) And looking at this, let us ask ourselves: how is my faith? Is it a joyous faith or is it a faith that is always the same, a ‘dull’ faith? Do I feel a sense of wonder when I see the Lord’s works, when I hear about evangelization or the life of a saint, or when I see many good people do I feel the grace within, or does nothing move in my heart? (Angelus, 24 June 2018)