FEAST DAY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Birthday of St, John the Baptist. For the members of the Order of Malta it is the day when we celebrate our patron saint. John was the herald who went before Jesus to prepare the way for the Lord to make his paths straight. A desert prophet, he was outstanding for vigour, discipline and humility. In the Gospels the Baptist plays a unique roll he is the first witness who leads other people to Jesus who he identifies as the messiah, the Son of God.
As wondrous as the events of John’s birth may be, his greatness comes not from how he was born but from who he becomes a “light to the nations,” a herald of repentance His identity as light and herald is revealed and confirmed in his mission. Thus, his greatness derives from his fidelity to his mission: “I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me and I am not worthy to undo the strap of his sandals.”
It is impossible to speak of John’s birth without noting his fidelity to his mission and his relationship to the Messiah. John the Baptist’s birth and mission remind us that God is always working in the world John is the manifestation of God’s working on behalf of all the world and its people.As the Apostles were witnesses to Jesus we to are called to be witnesses to Jesus, as members of the Church and members of the Order of Malta. We need to be pointing away from ourselves to Jesus.
We are challenged to live lives of selfless service in defence of the faith and service of the sick and poor. In saying that many people have lost the courage to share their faith, their time and their talents. Being a caring and sharing individual within society means that we should give ourselves selflessly and without hesitation to people who need us without counting the cost this is what true service means. Service to those who are our Lord’s the sick and poor, is a great privilege and that is exactly what our service as members of the Order of Malta should be willingly and freely given to others.
May we as members of the Order of Malta be courageous in our defence of the faith and our service of the poor and the sick as we reflect on our mission on the feast of our patron John the Baptist.