By Rems Noquiao
June 24 is the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin.
There is no way to prepare the Lord’s way, to open our hearts to God’s reign, apart from repentance. It’s our sin that blocks the way, our rebellion that impedes His coming, our pride that leaves no room for Him.
So, John calls all of us to repent. As the other gospel writers tell us, he makes that call explicit for particular groups of people. “Bear fruits that befit repentance… Don’t simply confess your sins and receive baptism but turn from them to God and begin a new life.”
One of the things that we can learn from St. John, according to Pope Francis, was his “spirit of service. St. John was “not interested in having a following for himself, in gaining prestige and success, but he bears witness and then steps back, so that many may have the joy of meeting Jesus,” the pope said.