Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How St John the Baptist became a martyr.

“I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” (Mark 6: 25).

Thursday of the 21st week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Martyrdom of St John the Baptist. St John the Baptist was called from the womb to prepare the way of the Lord Jesus. Our Scripture reflection today is drawn from the narrative of how John ended his life as a martyr: Mark 6: 17 - 29.

King Herod had John beheaded because of sexual immortality.  King David killed Uriah for the same sin. King Henry VIII executed many of his wives and gave two great martyrs to the Church of England: the Bishop St John Fisher and the great statesman, St Thomas More.

There are a number of lessons to be drawn from the Gospel of today:

#1 Beware of sexual sin. It is addictive. It does not end well.
#2 If you have a prophetic vocation, be resolved to go where God sends you and to proclaim fully everything God wants you to say. John the Baptist did this.
#3 Under no circumstances must you fear those who kill the body and can do no more. Fear God who can destroy your body and soul.

"I spoke, O Lord, of your decrees before kings, and was not confounded; I pondered your commands and loved them greatly." (Cf Psalm 119:
119: 46 - 47).

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Jesus is Lord.