BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
DAILY HOLY MASS READINGS
Jeremiah 1:17-19, Psalm 71:1-6, 15 & 17, Mark 6:17-29
My Beloved, in these verses God calls the prophet to do His work it is the call given also to St. John the Baptist whose beheading by king Herod the Church recalls today. The same call is give to all whom You desire to serve You as Your disciples.
It is the call to arms, the call to action, the call to put away self and to rise up and serve. You will provide the words that need to be spoken. You will grant the grace and the strength all You require from us is our availability. If we refuse then woe to us. With You fighting beside us we are invincible, with You justice w ill prevail.
You have call me to serve. Here I a Lord, do with me as You will.
Psalm 71:1-6, 15 & 17
My Beloved, only You can be trusted to deliver justice to all. In all my years, from the moment I was conceived, I have known You as my refuge, my help and my deliverer. You are my Rock, built upon You I cannot be moved but stand firm in Your strength. I hide in You and I am safe. Only my own wickedness can destroy me. Deliver me Lord from the temptations of the flesh. I place all my hope and trust in You confident of Your mighty protection. May I praise You always as I recall Your saving help. Grant me wisdom, understanding and knowledge so that I may speak of Your goodness.
My Beloved, Herod arrested John the Baptist knowing quite well that he was a holy man. He used his power as king to do evil. Herodias, Herod's wife hated John for accusing the king of adultery for he had married his brother's wife. The truth is always unpalatable and we seek to hide from it. She was prepared to add murder to her other grave sins against God's law.
For a time John's goodness kept him safe because Herod liked to listen to him although the things he said disturbed him. But no one is truly safe with the wicked.
As enslaved as Herod was by his passion for his brother's wife whom he took for his own, he was not yet as completely depraved as Herodias and her daughter. On his birthday, the girl danced in such a manner, captivating the senses of the king to such an extent, that in his drunken stupor he made many unwise oaths and promises before his high officials and guests. He even swore to give girl half his kingdom if she so desired.
Evil consults with evil and the plot to do evil is carried out. She asked for the head of John the Baptist on a dish at her mother's behest and Herod was hoist on his own petard. He counted the respect of man far above the honor due to God, so displeased as he was with the girl's request, he was not willing to risk being called a fool for he was a coward.
The girl got the head of the Saint, Herodias got her vengeance and Herod had to live for the rest of his days tormented for the evil upon evil that he had done.
As You have promised Beloved, they could kill the body of St. John the Baptist but they could not touch his soul. Let this comfort us when we see the atrocities that are taking place daily in the neighboring countries. May God have mercy on us all.