Intention: For all who live in the darkness of poverty, violence, abuse, or neglect, that they may know the light of God’s comfort through our acts of solidarity.
Today’s Gospel | Mark 6:17-29
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore [many things] to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He 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 his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
From the Meditation on the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Pay attention to Saint John’s manner of life and to his zeal. Reflect that like him, you are obliged to prepare the way for the Lord in the hearts of your disciples and to destroy the reign of sin in them. To obtain this grace from God, which requires great purity of heart, avoid the least sins, and for this purpose make use of the same means he did: seclusion from the world and a poor and penitent life.
Eternal Father, there are times when we do not realize how and when you are coming to us. When we are closed to your presence, our own lives pass us by. Help us to know you in the experiences of each day and through your words in the scriptures. Through the power of your Spirit, may we say yes to you by welcoming you into our hearts and following your ways. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.