FEAST OF THE MARTYRDOM OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST.
17 But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land.19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.”
17 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodi-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her.18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
19 And Herodi-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee.
22 For when Herodi-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.”23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
24 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.”25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
27 And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
JEREMIAH the prophet receive a message from Yahweh to not be fearful or concerned about the battle he was about to face, moreover he is instructed to “gird up his loins”—put on his girdle, a holy priestly garment— and face the enemy who has plotted his downfall. Yahweh assure Jeremiah that He will deliver him from his enemies.
THE GOSPEL READING: Although Herod knew that John the Baptist was a righteous man who spoke the truth when he objected to his adulterous act, Herod nevertheless ordered John’s beheading so he could fulfill his temporal desires, when he was put on the spot to choose between good and evil! Herodi-as, Herod and Salome’s refusal to submit to truth is a feature that dates back to the fall of our first parents.
On a daily basis, be it at the office, home or in public we are faced with conflicting thoughts, desires, choices including bribery that are objectively disordered, shameful and contrary to our baptismal, confirmation and vocational promises. If indeed we are stressed by what we have done or failed to do, it is an opportunity,a moment of grace that should move us to—gird up our loins–recall the vows we have sworn to and approach the confessional to repent of our sins. Let us today do what is right true and objectively good in the sight of the Lord.
Ps.Do subscribe and share you thoughts why Christ did not intervene to free John from his prison cell!
LET US PRAY:Psalms 71:1-6,15,17
1 In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!2 In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me!3 Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man 5 For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.6 Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee.
15 My mouth will tell of thy righteous acts, of thy deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
17 O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds.
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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