The Marytredom of St. John the Baptist- 29th August Le Martyre de St jean le Baptiste le 29 août

“Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested and had had him chained up in prison.”
Thursday 30 July 2015

Jr. 1, 17-19 Ps. 70 Mk.6,17-29

Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist 29th August

“Indeed, he had had him(John the Baptist) chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod ’It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.As for Herodias, she was furious with him, and wanted to kill him, but she was not able to do so, because Herod was in awe of John, knowing him to be a good and upright man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.”

Herod is moved by his passions, and John the Baptist is the man who remains faithful whatever the cost. He holds firm, whatever happen to him, for God envelops him with his Tenderness and Mercy. Through his martyrdom, John the Baptist announces the one of Jesus, whom the Father envelops with his Love. Our way of being faithful to our calling is to make of our life an offering, so as to walk in the footsteps of John the Baptist and Jesus! We have been consecrated in Our Lord Jesus and we want to be faithful to Him. As with John the Baptist, Jesus envelops us with his tenderness and love. Pope Francis tells us : ’Today, in numerous regions of the world, there numerous, numerous - much more than during the first centuries - numerous martyrs are led to death since they do not deny Jesus Christ. Such is our Church today.’

"An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday, when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers ands for the leading figures in Galilee.When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ’Ask me anything you like and I will give it to you.’ And he swore her an oath, ’I will give you anything you ask, even half of my kingdom.’ she went out and asked her mother ’What shall I ask for?’ She replied ’The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl at once

rushed back to the king and made her request.’ I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, immediately, on a dish.“The combat in which John the Baptist is committed is one of Truth! He already announced the death of Jesus who will manifest the Truth of His Mission by his Passion and his Resurrection. We too are committed, by following Jesus, to manifest our commitment to the Holy Spirit through the dramas and disasters of the life of our People. Any violence that we undergo is always a trial that requires our fidelity. Pope Francis tells us again : ’There is also the martyrdom that isn’t made up of death but which is also way of ’losing one’s life’ for Christ, by accomplishing one’s obligations out of love, according to Jesus’ logic : the logic of giving, of sacrifice.”

“The king was deeply distressed, but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. At once he sent one of his bodyguards with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in in the prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.”

In the wake of John the Baptist and his disciples, we live for Jesus; it is for Him that we offer up our lives. Jesus offered his life in sacrifice for the whole world, he came to take on himself the violence in the world. For our sanctification, during a meal he makes of his life a wedding feast, the meal of Love. May God envelop us with his Love and make our life a Eucharist, a thanksgiving. Let us give the final word to Pope Francis : ’How many young people give up their own interest to consecrate themselves to children, people with learning difficulties or physical disabilities. They too are martyrs.’

Let us ask Jesus for the grace to be enveloped with tenderness and love.