Friday, August 28, 2020

The Feast of the Martyrdom of St John the Baptist.

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

Saturday 29th August 2020, 21st Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Martyrdom of St John the Baptist.

Who is John the Baptist? John is the son of Zachary and Elizabeth. When Mary visited Elizabeth, John  leapt in her mother's womb in recognition of Jesus. When he came of age, he retired to the desert to prepare for his exacting ministry. In the fullness of time, he came to the River Jordan and began preaching and baptizing people for repentance in preparation for the ministry of Jesus Christ. It was here that he condemned the adulterous life of King Herod. Herodias, the concubine of Herod took revenge on the Baptist and demanded his death when a good opportunity presented itself.

John's martyrdom is a cause of joy and hope for Christians. John died about the age of 32. Was his life in vain? Of course not. You think of the hundreds of martyrs that the Church honors every year. We honor them to remind everyone that Heaven is real for the faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Hell is also real for those who reject Jesus completely.

If someone asks you: How do you know that Heaven is real? Your answer could be among others: Look at the martyrs. Intelligent and beautiful men and women! Could they have thrown away the only life they had for nothing? Think of all the Apostles, Saints Cecilia, Agatha, Thomas More, Lawrence, etc.

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10: 28)

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