The Birth of St. John the Baptist
Almighty God, by Your divine intervention Your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born and sent to prepare the way of Your Son, our Savior, by preaching repentance. Help us to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake. Amen.
In the days of Herod, King of Judea,
there was a priest named Zechariah
of the priestly division of Abijah;
his wife was from the daughters of Aaron,
and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in the eyes of God,
observing all the commandments
and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren
and both were advanced in years.
Once when he was serving
as priest in his division’s turn before God,
according to the practice of the priestly service,
he was chosen by lot
to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.
Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside
at the hour of the incense offering,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him,
standing at the right of the altar of incense.
Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you shall name him John.
And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth,
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
John will drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,
and he will turn many of the children of Israel
to the Lord their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah
to turn their hearts toward their children
and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous,
to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”
This week the Oblates in Paraguay are praying for you.
One of the Oblates who is praying for you is Fr. Olegario Dominguez, O.M.I. who celebrated his 99th birthday in March. Also in March Fr. Dominguez celebrated 73 years as an Oblate priest. Father Dominguez was born in Spain and became a foreign missionary in Paraguay in 1980 at the age of 60. “You evangelized us with your homilies, your counsel and your simple and close lifestyle,” said Fr. Marcos Rivarola, O.M.I. at Fr. Dominguez’s birthday party.. “You have been a great evangelizer and a grand master for many generations, a tireless worker for Father God.”
Today Fr. Dominguez gets up early every day to pray and concelebrate the morning Mass at 6:00 a.m. After breakfast, he usually spends time correcting the theses of the theology students. He then receives visitors who wish to confess or to ask for advice. Father Dominguez maintains his joy and good humor and does everything he can to stay well because he wants to continue serving without rest. He is a living example of how a Missionary Oblate can impact the lives of the people around them even at such an advanced age.
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