The Mission of Harvesters Wanted:

To spread the Good News of JESUS CHRIST in word and in action! As well as promoting the baptismal call of all the faithful to follow whatever vocation our God has called them to!

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:19-20

The place to find homilies and reflections given along the path of faith by Fr. Adam Carrico, a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

When this life is complete, I pray they say I lived For The Greater Glory of God +AMDG+

Monday, June 25, 2018

Was Saint John the Baptist Born without Sin?

Saint Patrick and Saint Boniface Bulletin Article

June 24, 2018

for the Solemnity of

The Nativity of John the Baptist 


The Visitation

Was John the Baptist Born without Sin? 

This question was posed to me shortly after I began my assignment at Saint Patrick’s and it truly took me by surprise. My first thought, honestly, was what kind of heresy is this? Nonetheless, I listened to the question, heard the rationale behind the idea that he was born without sin, and conveyed my uncertainty. The topic had never come up in seminary, and I have never come across a definitive teaching regarding this notion. I had all but forgotten the idea when an article appeared in my inbox asking the same question! I read the article and began to realize that this question wasn’t simply one woman’s reflections on her grade school religion class long ago, it was a theological debate that has come and gone throughout Church history. 

Let us be clear, the question is not: was John the Baptist conceived without original sin? It is: was he born without original sin? I think this is where I got tangled up the first time. There have been only four people throughout salvation history conceived without original sin: Adam, Eve, Mary the Mother of God, and Jesus Christ himself – fully man, fully God. If John was born without original sin, he certainly was conceived with it. So how was he (possibly) cleansed of original sin? The Visitation. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, who was carrying the child John within her, John leapt at the sound of Mary’s greeting. This action, and the fact that the Evangelist Luke took the time to include it in his Gospel, hints at the possibility that it was more than elated uterine somersaults taking place – it was the cleansing of John’s original sin BEFORE birth. The Church speaks of prevenient grace – the grace that saved Mary, at her conception, from original sin. Basically, the grace of the cross bestowed chronologically prior to the cross. Perhaps… perhaps, the Visitation points at some form of prevenient grace that bestowed the grace of baptism, upon THE Baptist himself, before his birth? 

The Church has never definitively settled this issue, mostly because it does not directly affect our relationship with Jesus Christ, nor does our salvation cling to this spin-off theological debate. It is a curious question, however, especially when one asks a second question: why do we only celebrate three birthdays in the Church calendar? 

Click here to read the Aleteia article that rekindled my interest in this topic!


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