The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

Revelation 6:9–11
Romans 6:1–5
Mark 6:14–29

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

“Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!” (Rom. 6:1–2). John preached the Law boldly against Herod’s adultery with Herodias. Choosing human honor over honesty, Herod served up John’s head on a platter to pacify Herodias’ conscience without the contrition and repentance of Baptism (Mark 6:17–28). So John was slain for the word of God and for the witness [he] had borne” (Rev. 6:9). John is Christ’s forerunner also in death; other fellow servants and brothers continue to be martyrs (witnesses) of Christ to this day (Rev. 6:11). Their deaths are “precious in the sight of the Lord” (Ps. 116:15) and so also to us, who celebrate even a beheading. Such is the confidence of the baptized! Buried therefore with him by baptism into death,” we believe we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” also (Rom. 6:4–5). United to Christ, the Church’s Head, John can be confident that He will be reunited to His own at the Last Day. Even John isn’t really the forerunner, because Jesus has gone before us all: out of the tomb alive, the firstborn of those who sleep!


Aug 29 2024


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