September 23, 2022

On the Conception of Saint John the Baptist (St. Justin Popovich)

 The Conception of Saint John the Baptist

September 23

By St. Justin Popovich

This day celebrates the mercy, miraculousness and wisdom of God; the mercy towards the pious and righteous parents of Saint John, the old man Zechariah and the old woman Elizabeth, who wanted and begged God for a child all their lives; the miracle of John's conception in the over-aged womb of Elizabeth; and the wisdom in the design of human salvation. This is because God had particularly great intentions with John, namely, that he would be a Prophet and Forerunner of Christ the Lord, the Savior of the world. Through His angels, God announced the birth of Isaac from the childless Sarah, and Sampson from the childless Manoah and his wife, and John the Forerunner from the childless Zechariah and Elizabeth. Through His angels, God announced the birth of those with whom He had special intentions. How could children be born from old parents? If anyone is curious to find out, let him not ask people about it, because people do not know of it, nor do natural laws, because it is above the laws of nature, but let him turn his gaze to the power of the almighty God, who created the whole world from nothing, and who did not need any parents, old or young, to create the first man, Adam. Instead of curiosity, let's give praise to God, who often reveals His power, mercy and wisdom to us beyond the laws of nature, in which, without God's special miracles, we would fall into despair and God-forgetfulness.

From The Lives of the Saints: September. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.