Martyrdom of John the Baptist

Saint of the Day for August 29

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SODAug29.mp3

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Mark 6:17-29
Friends, today’s Gospel tells of the death of John the Baptist. Herod had arrested John, from whom Jesus had sought baptism, and put him to death. The arrest and death of John the Baptist were signals for Jesus.

Immediately after the arrest, Jesus withdraws to Galilee and commences his own ministry of preaching and healing. Are these two events just coincidentally related? Hardly. Jesus read the arrest of John as a kind of signal that he was to begin.

We must remember that Jesus, like any Jew of his time, would have read the world through the lens of the Sacred Scriptures. They were the interpretive framework for everything. It was a commonplace of the prophets and the Psalms and parts of the Torah that the era of the Messiah would be preceded by a time of tribulation, when the opponents of God would rise up to counter God’s purposes.

Jesus saw this in the arrest of John. This great national figure, this prophet to Israel, was arrested and eventually killed by the enemies of God—and he took it as a signal that his own Messianic work should begin.

The Story of the Martyrdom of John the Baptist

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?

This great religious reformer was sent by God …Read More