August 29, 2015

John the Baptist's Passion

August 29, 2015:  Passion of St. John the Baptist

  • 'Sheet music with skulls as note heads' tie:  dance, then beheading (gospel); "Sing to the Lord a new song" (psalm)
  • 'Headless skeleton' tie bar:  John's beheading (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Herod's birthday banquet (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  Herod was perplexed when he heard John; "What shall I ask for?"  (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin, red shirt:  John's martyrdom, color of today's celebration
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "His right hand won victory"; "Let the rivers clap their hands" (psalm)

  • Dance of the Seven Veils, from Salome/ Strauss fits the gospel; find one yourself if you can tolerate possible adult content.
  • 1 Thes 4:9-11  You don't need anyone to write you about fraternal charity; God has taught you to love one another.  But we urge you to progress more, aspire to live a tranquil life, mind your own affairs, and work.

  • Ps 98:1, 7-9  "The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice."  Sing to the Lord who's done wondrous deeds!
  • Mk 6:17-29  John the Baptist to Herod:  “It's wrong for you to have your brother’s wife [Herodias].”  She had a chance to get him killed at his birthday banquet:  her daughter danced, delighted Herod, asked for John's head.  He had him beheaded; John's disciples buried him.
    • Creighton:  'Regret' =  feel sad/sorry about (something you did/didn't do).  Herod saw John as a holy and righteous man but had him arrested and imprisoned.  When he had him beheaded, he likely felt great regret.  Think about a time you did something wrong and knew that it was a mistake:  when did you feel regret?  How did the action affect others?  What's better the next time?  St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of conversion.  St. John the Baptist, pray we do right even when it's hard.
    • Passionist:  Pope Francis illustrates Herod’s motives:  “When human beings place themselves at the center, they give priority to convenience and all else becomes relative.  Hence we shouldn't be surprised to find... the rise of a relativism that sees everything as irrelevant unless it serves one’s own immediate interests”  (Laudato Si’ 122).  John's preaching against Herod’s relativism cost him his head.  Where do I place myself in my universe?  Am I at the center, or am I making compassionate efforts to place another there?
      Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
    •  Herod had all he wanted but a clear conscience and peace with God.  He respected John as prophet and servant of God but imprisoned him because of Herodias' jealousy.  To please family and friends, he had John beheaded; he was bent on that vs. doing right.  God gives strength and courage to do right to those who depend on him.  Martyrs' blood testifies to the truth of the Gospel and people's willingness to suffer for their faith.  They know death can't separate them from God's love, and the Holy Spirit fills them with courage, love, and boldness.
    • UniversalisJohn the Baptist and Joseph are the only saints with two feasts:  June's celebrates John's birth; today's, his death.  John was a prophet from before birth, leaping in the womb to announce Jesus' coming.  He courageously announced he was least in the kingdom.  When the great or talented come across someone greater, they'll feel like we do.  Pray they, like John, may pass that test.  See Catholic Encyclopedia.

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