St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436



From the Desk of Father Mac

June 24, 2018

My Dear Friends in Christ,

Today we take a break from the Sundays of Ordinary Time to celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. It’s not often we celebrate someone’s birth in the liturgy. Of course, we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The birthday of Mary is a feast but not a solemnity like John’s birthday (though Mary’s conception does hold the rank of solemnity). Why is John’s birth so important? John’s importance is linked to his place in salvation history.

The date of the celebration of John’s birth is linked to the birth of Jesus. At the Annunciation, the angel tells Mary that Elizabeth is already in her sixth month of pregnancy. So, John’s birth is celebrated six months before Christmas.

The birth of St John the Baptist reminds us that God is active in this world. Two thousand years after his covenant with Abraham, God sends John, the last and greatest prophet, to his chosen people. A thousand years after his solemn promise to King David, God sends a forerunner to announce the arrival of the new, everlasting King. Seven centuries after Isaiah's Messianic prophecy, God sends St John to set the stage for the promised Messiah.

St John received the baton of the gospel from those chosen by God to advance his plan of salvation up to the time of Christ, and he handed on that baton to Christ's very first disciples, who took it, washed it in the saving blood of Christ our Redeemer, and then handed it on yet again, to the Church, which has kept passing it forward ever since.

The birth of St John the Baptist is like a huge billboard that sums up the whole history of salvation and says: "God hasn't forgotten about us, and he never will forget about us!" Yes, God is active in the world, through his John-the-Baptists, through his messengers, through us.

St John the Baptist's whole life, from his birth to his martyr's death, was a billboard for this all-important truth, that God is active in the world. John's awareness of this truth spurred him on to show and remind people of God's interest in their lives, through his example, words, and actions. He was faithful to his life's mission, because he knew that God wanted to work through him to pave the way for Christ, to change people's lives for the better.

Today the Church is renewing our awareness of the same truth. And so today, we can also renew our commitments to our life-missions. The first and most important place where we can carry out that mission is in our families. Let's promise Jesus that, like John the Baptist, we will seek to be living billboards that show God is still at work in the world!

This is Fr. Henry’s last weekend at St. Cyril’s. This week he will return to Uganda. Thank you for the hospitality you showed to Fr. Henry during his stay. Please join me in thanking him for his service and please keep him in your prayers!

In Christ,


For Information, please contact the Parish Office at or phone 818.986.8234


St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234


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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website:

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