Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (1:57-66, 80) about the birth of John the Baptist.Fr Paul says it is interesting to note that the birth stories of John and Jesus are told so that we can see the parallels of both figures and, also, see the special position that both Jesus and John will have.  The parents of John and Jesus are models of fidelity and trust in God.  It is an angel who tells of the miraculous birth of both Jesus and John.  The birth and the naming of both John and Jesus is a time of great joy.  John is great but Jesus is greater still. John is the one who will prepare the way.  It will be Jesus who will seated on the throne of his father David.  Zechariah doubts and he is struck dumb. Mary humbly enquires and she is blessed.  John’s name means ‘God is gracious’.  Jesus’s name means ‘Saviour’.  At John’s birth there is joy in the family. At Jesus’s birth there is joy in the heavenly host of angels.So, Fr Paul says, in today’s gospel we hear of the birth of John the Baptist and we hear of these parallels between Jesus and John.