My daily reflection and prayer
Friday, August 29, 2014: Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist
“Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man.., but he went and beheaded him in the prison” (Mark 6:20, 27b)
WHAT can be reflected from the gospel today in the context of memorial of the passion of St. John the Baptist? Let’s contemplate it.
First, like a bridge overs two traditions, St. John the Baptist connects the Old and New Testaments. We can say that he is the last of the Old Testament prophets who prepares the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the true witness of Jesus Christ to whom he introduces as the Lamb of God (John 1:36) who will take away the sins of the world.
Second, he introduces himself and says, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet” (John 1:23). By saying it, he states that he is a witness. Even, St. John the Baptist is the first of the New Testament witnesses and martyrs.
Third, St. John the Baptist is a humble witness. He humbles himself and says, “There come after me he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose” (Mark 1:7). But Jesus witness on him, saying, “Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11).
Fourth, in relation to him, Jesus also equates the coming of His kingdom with violence. Jesus says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force (Matthew 11:12). St. John the Baptist suffered violence for announcing that the kingdom of God is near. And we read in the gospel today, John is thrown into prison and then beheaded by Herod although he knew him to be a righteous and holy man. Herod is a weak ruler but so violent.
Now, we understand that the blood of Christian martyrs throughout the ages bear witness on Jesus Christ. The question for us, “Are we prepared to be a witness, and if necessary, a martyr for Jesus Christ?”
Our task today is to make Jesus Christ known and loved with all the consequences. We must not fear to those oppose us, because the love of Jesus Christ is stronger than fear and death itself. Let’s proclaim Him although we should face opposition and persecution.
Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist is a way to make Jesus Christ known and loved by worshiping Him. Let’s to be ready to make Him known and loved in Perpetual Adoration, and if necessary to suffer for His sake and the sake of the world’s salvation.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, make us stronger to be your witness. Grant us faith, boldness, and courage to stand firm in the truth of the gospel and to not waver in our testimony of Your love and grace. May we proclaim You although we should face opposition and persecution, now and forever. Amen.
SALAM TIGA JARI: Persatuan Indonesia dalam Keragaman