July 22, 2018, 2:14 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0687 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07203 Brazilian Real
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01606 Euro
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.08962 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88982 Gambian Dalasi
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1 Philippine Peso = 3.88103 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1468 Hong Kong Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 269.36027 Indonesian Rupiah
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1 Philippine Peso = 1.28159 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.25963 Iraqi Dinar
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1 Philippine Peso = 26.78638 Myanmar Kyat
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1 Philippine Peso = 6.64048 Mauritania Ougulya
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.35353 Mexican Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 2.04293 Nepalese Rupee
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39618 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0692 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 106.97905 Paraguayan Guarani
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07472 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.18 Russian Rouble
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07015 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14747 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25122 Seychelles Rupee
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.02554 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0143 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41538 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 153.38571 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.68088 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 393.68313 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16367 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.633 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24845 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.62252 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04952 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04351 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08966 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12587 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57159 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 42.49906 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49158 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 69.56977 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01871 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58277 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 145.09914 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 2239.05724 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 431.12608 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04265 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04883 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05051 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.52881 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.90591 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.67265 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24818 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 97.07258 Zambian Kwacha
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The Birth of the Precursor

WHEN the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

***

All four evangelists agree that Jesus’ manifestation to Israel was preceded by John the Baptist’s preaching and baptizing ministry. Jesus’ story began from the “baptism of John until the day on which he was taken from us” (Acts 1:21). The infancy narratives and the Johannine Prologue simply serve as prelude to this story.

It is Luke who narrates to us the stories of John’s conception and birth. In a style called diptych or narratives in “two frames,” the stories about John are paralleled with those of Jesus to bring out the fact that Jesus is the greater one. Although wondrous signs accompany the conception and birth of John, he is not the Awaited One, the Messiah of God. Rather, he is a prophet who prepares the way of the lord, as his father Zechariah prophesies (Lk 1:76). The name John or Yohanan means “God favors” and this is seen in the neighbors and relatives acknowledging the great mercy given to Elizabeth (and Zechariah), and they rejoice, with her (Lk 1:14, 58).

As a son of a priest, John is supposed to be trained in the Temple services. Instead, he grows up in the desert, far from the luxury in which the Jerusalem priestly aristocracy lives. By his dress, diet, and preaching, John presents himself more like a prophet than a priest. John wears clothing made of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist. This garb makes him resemble the prophet Elijah the Tishbite who was described to King Ahaziah as “wearing a hairy garment with a leather girdle around his loins” (2 Kgs 1:8). He is thus presented not as a prophet in general; he is the “new Elijah.”

John replies to the people who are filled with expectation about him that he is not the Messiah. He is “a voice of one crying out in the desert,” as we read from the book of Isaiah (40:3-5). The original oracle was addressed to the Jewish exiles in Babylon, and speaks of the “second exodus,” of the Lord saving his people, leading them out of a foreign land. The evangelist now speaks of salvation brought about by Jesus; John is the voice announcing Jesus’ coming.

The desert of Judea, the historical setting of John’s ministry, happily lends to the oracle that Luke sees as being fulfilled “A voice in the desert” is from Isaiah 40:3, part of the oracle of comfort beginning the so-called Second Isaiah, and referring to the return of the exited community in Babylon around 538 BC. As the Lord led the enslaved Hebrews by way of the desert into the Promised Land in the Exodus story, now the Lord is leading his people out of the Babylonian exile back to Jerusalem where they can rebuild the Temple and their lives.

In the Lucan context, the “voice in the desert” is John. The “Lord” whose way should be prepared is no longer Yahweh-God but Jesus. Jesus is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And more: he is Kyrios-the Lord himself.

John is the new Elijah, come to call for repentance and reconciliation: “to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Mal 3:24). This is in view of the “day of the Lord” – not the terrible day of Yahweh’s judgment, but the kairos, the day of salvation ushered by Jesus’ ministry among men and women.

***

Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP
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