The summer sun was already hot in the sky as my mom and I walked up the block to the seven o’clock morning Mass. My heart swelled with happiness: it was my tenth birthday, and I got to go with my mom to her usual daily Mass. After Mass, Mom and I discussed the readings that are read every year on my birthday, which I share with the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. In fact, she still texts me snippets of the readings on my birthday.
“The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name” (Isaiah 49:1).
I loved to recall the story of my parents deciding before I was born to name me “Susanna” and then at Mass that same day hearing the Gospel about the woman Susanna who followed Jesus (Luke 8:3).
“Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
My mom always emphasized to me how God knew and loved me, watching over me as I grew inside her for nine months.
The other readings are more clearly about Saint John the Baptist, but since they were read on my birthday, I always felt that they applied to me. They helped me see that God has a special purpose for my life, unique to whom He created me to be. As I child I wondered at what I might grow up to be and as an adult I wonder at what God has led me to do. Like Saint John the Baptist, surely the hand of the Lord is with me.
Sister, we are all called to be like Saint John the Baptist—for the Lord has truly formed all of us in the secret depths and given us a name through our parents. We are His own. He wants us all to see our need for personal repentance and speak it to others. He wants all our lives to be like the traditional images of Saint John the Baptist, holding a cross and pointing to Christ, preparing the way for Him. How are you living this out today?We are His own. // @susannacspencer Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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