My favorite scripture professor in seminary (may she rest in peace) used to refer to St. John the Baptist very familiarly and simply as “JB”. There was something very endearing about it.
Today we celebrate JB’s birthday – one of three birthdays in our liturgical calendar, the others being that of the Lord himself and of the Blessed Mother. It is interesting to note that John the Baptist’s birthday comes just as the days are starting to get shorter (in the Northern Hemisphere), whereas Christ’s birthday comes just as they are starting to get longer: “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30).
We have much to learn from meditating upon John the Baptist’s life and words. We can also benefit greatly from his intercession. Here is a prayer to him that I posted last year, which might be good for us all to recite on this, his feast day. St. John the Baptist, pray for us.
Let us pray.
Unconquered martyr, St. John the Baptist, who for the honor of God and the salvation of souls did, with heroic constancy – and at the cost of life itself – withstand the impious Herod, reproving him openly for his bad and dissolute life: obtain for us a brave and generous heart, so that, overcoming all human respect, we may boldly profess our faith, and follow the teaching of our divine master Jesus Christ, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.