Doing all God asks...
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist (August 29, 2020): 1 COR 1:26-31; PS 33:12-13,18-19,20-21; MK 6:17-29
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
John shared the truth about what was good and right and just...
On this Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist, we honor one selected by the Father to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of His Son. John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, was first in the presence of Christ while they were both in the wombs of their mothers. Everything about the life of John was in preparation for his own service to God and His people. He must always have seemed out of the ordinary to friends and neighbors. He spent time in the desert in prayer and fasting. And he preached. On the bank of the River Jordan, John called men and women to repent and to ready themselves for the one who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit. And always, John shared the truth about what was good and right and just – and what was not. So he naturally denounced King Herod Antipas for taking his brother’s wife as his own. And so, he was imprisoned.
In the letter from St. Paul to the Corinthians, we hear him urge them to acknowledge the power of God and see that they had none of their own. “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). This was something that Herod and Herodias were incapable of doing. They believed in only in themselves and their own might. They allowed their pride and selfishness to turn them from God – and to have John the Baptist killed. St. John the Baptist would die like many others, including St. Paul, rather than deny loyalty to God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are asked everyday to make choices for God and for the good of His people. Let us trust Him just as John always did.
Suggested missionary action: We can pray today to St. John the Baptist that we will do all God asks of us. We can ask John to help us turn ourselves over to God’s will and truth, no matter what He wants us to do, no matter how trying the situation.