Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    Faith Matters - His Name is John

    Article by Mr Brendan Nicholls

    Faith Matters – His Name Is John

    Last Sunday we celebrated the birth of St John the Baptist. As Fr James Puppady continues his recovery from chronic laryngitis he asked if I would be prepared to offer a reflection for the Youth Mass at St Thomas in-lieu of his homily. I agreed and thought it might be a timely and fitting addition to the newsletter as we wrap up the semester and seek to become a community who like John proclaim Jesus in the modern world.

    Nativity of John the Baptist – Reflection

    As we celebrate the nativity of St John the Baptist let us consider what we have heard. There are themes that are repeated in the readings that we should consider and apply over the coming week.

    1. Before you were born God chose you and knitted you together in your mother’s womb. You are wonderfully made. Be grateful for you. You are unique and beautiful. Your body is an amazing machine that allows you the opportunity to anything you wish. You and only you are perfect for the role you have to play in God’s plan in this world.

     2. We need to nurture and develop our faith. In the readings we see the great faith of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Your parents also have faith and seek to see this develop in you. As you grow seek to become aware of your own faith. Go out into the wilderness and speak with God. Ask for the grace to learn what his plan is for you. It took John thirty years to discern his vocation, do not be discouraged if God’s plan is not revealed to you immediately. The Spirit works deep within us and transforms us gradually.

    3. Each of us are a light to the nations. You will change the world! You will bring Jesus into the lives of others. You are needed and are an indispensable member of the Church. Unknowingly people watch you and learn how to be Christ-like by the things you say and do. Be aware of the light you give off and how brightly it shines. 

    What stops us being like John? With these points in mind take a moment to consider why sometimes you do not speak openly about your faith and Jesus. 

    Maybe you feel as though you lack knowledge. On reflection I was just as capable of sharing Jesus with others before I completed any theological study as I am now. Don’t think you have to understand theology or the Church before you can spread the Good News. The Spirit will provide all the wisdom you need. 

    Maybe you feel that speaking of Jesus is not socially or culturally accepted. You may be right. But in speaking of Him and sharing your faith you will change the world. If we spoke more often about Jesus and his teachings about faith, mercy, justice, forgiveness and love not only would we change our perspective but also those around us and in turn the entire world.

    Maybe you feel you don’t have the chance to be a prophet like John. But you can still act like a prophet in the things you do, the decisions you make and how you respond to others – especially those you don’t get along with.

    As we reflect on the nativity of St John the Baptist we can learn much and be grateful for what God revealed to us in the reading this evening.

    Remember no-one is better than you or more qualified than you when it comes to sharing Jesus in word and action.

    Have faith.

    The Lord called you before you were born and he knew your name. You are wonderfully made.

    You must nurture and develop your faith.

    You are a light onto the world.

    I pray that you and your family have a wonderful break over the coming weeks, that you may find the opportunity to consider the reflection above and be inspired to proclaim your faith, and be moved to act upon what we believe.

    Yours in Christ,

    Brendan Nicholls  Liturgy Coordinator

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