August 29: The Passion of St. John the Baptist

The Universal Church’s calendar today marks the Passion (or martyrdom) of St. John the Baptist. It was St. John who prepared the way for Jesus. As an adult, he lived as a hermit in the wilderness. After the Spirit inspired him, he went about preaching that the people should repent of their sins and be Baptized in order to prepare for the Messiah. St. Mark’s Gospel (6, 17-29) details how Herod imprisoned St. John because he had condemned Herod for committing adultery by living with his brother’s wife, Herodias.

For reflection: Each of us has a calling to which we must listen. No one will ever repeat the mission of St. John, and yet all of us are called, in some way, to witness to Jesus. By our words and deeds, others ought to be able to see and hear that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord.

Let us pray. “O God, through the intercession of St. John the Baptist, grant unto your people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all your faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.”

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