“A call from God reached him while he was still in the womb,” he noted. “It invested him with the great task of preparing the hearts of humankind to receive the Savior of the world.”
The cardinal, who leads the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, which organized the World Meeting of Families, said Saint John’s reaction to encountering the unborn Jesus points to an important aspect of family life.
“All of this helps us to understand another key dimension of the family vocation,” he said, “to be guardians of the sacredness of human life from the first moment of conception to natural death.”
Saint John the Baptist’s birth is ordinarily celebrated on June 24, but is moved to June 23 when it coincides with the Feast of Corpus Christi or the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as happened this year.
In his homily, Cardinal Farrell, who is camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, reflected on the liturgy’s first reading, from the Prophet Isaiah.
“The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name,” Farrell said, quoting Isaiah 49:1.
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