The Nativity of John the Baptist

Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist.  Given the focus of the readings for Sunday, throwing in the birth of John might seem a little random.  But it really isn't. 

In the verses leading up to the Gospel (Luke), we meet John's parents Zechariah and Elizabeth.  They aren't just nice people, they're practically saints.  And they've been trying for decades to have a child, with no success. 

Zechariah despairs.  Elizabeth blames herself.  They've given up hope of ever having a child.  Their hearts are broken, because they know this isn't the way it's supposed to be. 

It's so quietly shown that it's easy to miss, but they are one of the most powerful examples of lived faith in the Bible.  During those barren decades, they never gave up on each other.  Or God.

Readings for the Nativity of John the Baptist: