The price of serving God was high – but he never held back...
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist (August 29, 2019): 1 THES 3:7-13; PS 90:3-5,12-13,14,17; MK 6:17-29
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The illicit marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias ultimately led to the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist.
As the one called by Almighty God to prepare the way for His Son, John was a prophet in the Old Testament tradition. More than that, he proclaimed the coming of Jesus, the Messiah of the Jews and Savior of the world. In his single-minded effort to serve God and guide His people away from sin, John bravely announced the truth – whatever the cost to himself. So he denounced a wicked king and his vindictive queen for their adulterous relationship. He was unafraid to censure the pair for the scandal they caused. Although John the Baptist intrigued Herod, he still had him imprisoned. Then Herodias assured his death by having her daughter demand John’s head after she pleased Herod with her dancing. Too weak to deny the request with so many people watching, the king agreed. “(An executioner) went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When the disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb” (Mark 6:27-29).
John had given his whole life to doing all God asked of him. Like so many others who stand up for the truth and goodness of the Lord, he also suffered for his faith. Today, all who follow Christ have that same mission – to live our faith wherever it takes us, whatever it demands. If we turn our lives over to our Lord, He will give us the courage to be the people He always intended us to be.