Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Matthew 14:1-12.
by Daily Gospel | Source: Daily Gospel
Book of Leviticus 25:1.8-17.

The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai,
"Seven weeks of years shall you count--seven times seven years--so that the seven cycles amount to forty-nine years.

Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month let the trumpet resound; on this, the Day of Atonement, the trumpet blast shall re-echo throughout your land.

This fiftieth year you shall make sacred by proclaiming liberty in the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when every one of you shall return to his own property, every one to his own family estate.

In this fiftieth year, your year of jubilee, you shall not sow, nor shall you reap the aftergrowth or pick the grapes from the untrimmed vines.

Since this is the jubilee, which shall be sacred for you, you may not eat of its produce, except as taken directly from the field.

"In this year of jubilee, then, every one of you shall return to his own property.
Therefore, when you sell any land to your neighbor or buy any from him, do not deal unfairly.

On the basis of the number of years since the last jubilee shall you purchase the land from him; and so also, on the basis of the number of years for crops, shall he sell it to you.
When the years are many, the price shall be so much the more; when the years are few, the price shall be so much the less. For it is really the number of crops that he sells you.
Do not deal unfairly, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God.

Psalms 67(66):2-3.5.7-8.

May God be gracious to us and bless us; may God's face shine upon us. Selah
So shall your rule be known upon the earth, your saving power among all the nations.
May the nations be glad and shout for joy; for you govern the peoples justly, you guide the nations upon the earth. Selah
The earth has yielded its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still; that the ends of the earth may revere our God.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14:1-12.

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, "This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him."

Now Herod had arrested John, bound (him), and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."

Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet.

But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod
so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.

Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."

The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given,
and he had John beheaded in the prison.

His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.


Commentary of the day

Blessed John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Apostolic Letter « Tertio Millenio adveniente », 37 (© Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

John the Baptist, martyr of truth


The Church of the first millennium was born of the blood of the martyrs: "Sanguis martyrum - semen christianorum".(Tertullian) Historical events...  could never have ensured the development of the Church as it occurred during the first millennium if it had not been for the seeds sown by the martyrs and the heritage of sanctity which marked the first Christian generations. At the end of the second millennium, the Church has once again become a Church of martyrs. The persecutions of believers —priests, Religious and laity—has caused a great sowing of martyrdom in different parts of the world. The witness to Christ borne even to the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants, as Pope Paul VI pointed out... This witness must not be forgotten...

In our own century the martyrs have returned, many of them nameless, "unknown soldiers" as it were of God's great cause. As far as possible, their witness should not be lost to the Church... Local Churches should do everything possible to ensure that the memory of those who have suffered martyrdom should be safeguarded, gathering the necessary documentation.

This gesture cannot fail to have an ecumenical character and expression. Perhaps the most convincing form of ecumenism is the ecumenism of the saints and of the martyrs. The communio sanctorum speaks louder than the things which divide us... The greatest homage which all the Churches can give to Christ on the threshold of the third millennium will be to manifest the Redeemer's all-powerful presence through the fruits of faith, hope and charity present in men and women of many different tongues and races who have followed Christ in the various forms of the Christian vocation.




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