Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Memorial of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her. For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death, and could not. For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly.

And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom. Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist. And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist.

And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her: But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish. And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother. Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Mark 6:17-29 (Douay-Rheims)


Dear Father your forgiveness is great but that doesn't give us the right to sin and exclude your commandments in our life. I have read the account of a woman who went beyond and fell deeply into the abyss. Your servant John proclaimed your kingdom and spoke of the sins that are committed by those who are above others in rank. But this happens to many in our day too, but not all are repentant and some are caught in the web of deceit by the hand of others. Our conscience gives us the voice of righteousness just as John the Baptist was the voice to herald the kingdom of God. John's message bothered those who are rooted in darkness. He lost his life for his love of you dear Father, making way for your Son Jesus. His very life was lost to keep him silent. We rejoice in John's proclamation of your Commandments and upholding the value of your kingdom for all time to come. May we not silence the voice that sets us on the path to you. May we listen when we know we err to correct our sin, by heeding your commandments and killing instead of the messenger, the sin that causes us to fall away from you. Sin is sin and it cause us to severe the ties that keep us close to you. May we also seek out the sacrament of Penance and reconcile ourselves to your Holy Will. Amen

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