The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist - Memorial

Saint Mark 6:17-29
by Daily Gospel | Source: Daily Gospel
Book of Jeremiah 1:17-19.

But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them;
For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, A pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: Against Judah's kings and princes, against its priests and people.
They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Psalms 71(70):1-2.3-4a.5-6ab.15ab.17.

In you, LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue and deliver me; listen to me and save me!
Be my rock and refuge, my secure stronghold; for you are my rock and fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of the violent.

You are my hope, Lord; my trust, GOD, from my youth.
On you I depend since birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength; my hope in you never wavers.
On you I depend since birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength; my hope in you never wavers.
My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.

My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.
God, you have taught me from my youth; to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:17-29.

Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias's own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore (many things) to her, "I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request, "I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


Commentary of the day
Lanspergius the Carthusian (1489-1539), monk, theologian
Sermon for the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Opera omnia, t. 2

John the Baptist, who died for Christ's sake


John did not live for himself alone, nor did he die for himself alone. How many there were, burdened with sin, who were led to conversion by his hard and austere life. How many who were strengthened to bear their own trials by his undeserved death. And what about us? From where does the opportunity come to offer faithful thanks to God today if not from the the remembrance of Saint John, put to death for righteousness' sake, that is to say, for Christ?...

Yes indeed, John the Baptist sacrificed his life with all his heart here below for love of Christ. He chose to despise the commands of a tyrant rather than those of God. His example teaches us that nothing should be dearer to us than the will of God. Pleasing other people is of little value, indeed, it often causes great harm... Therefore let us die to our sins and anxieties with all God's friends, tread underfoot our misguided self-will and be careful to allow fervent love for Christ to grow within us.










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