Daily Reflection on the Gospel of Monday, August 29, 2022

Catoli News

Today, we remember the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, the Messiah's Precursor. All his life moves around Jesus, to the extent that without Him, the very existence and aim of the Messiah's Precursor would have had no significance whatsoever.

From his mother's womb, the Baptist already senses the nearness of the Savior. Mary and Elisabeth embrace, two future mothers, opens up the dialogue between the two infants: the Savior sanctified John, and John enthusiastically jumped inside his mother's womb.

In his mission as Forerunner he kept this enthusiasm, —whose etymological meaning is “to be full of God”—, he prepared the path Jesus was to follow, he smoothed the way and leveled off mounds for Him, he announced Him when already present and pointed Him out as the Messiah: «Look, the Lamb of God!» (Jn 1:36).

In the dusk of his existence, when preaching the messianic freedom to those enslaved by their vices, John is imprisoned: «For John had told Herod, ‘It is not right for you to live with your brother's wife’» (Mk 6:18). The testimony of the martyrdom of John the Baptist is centered upon the Person of Jesus. John the Baptist was Jesus' Forerunner in life, and he preceded Him also in his cruel death.

St. Beda tells us «He was locked away in the darkness of prison, through he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a “bright and shining lamp” by that Light itself, which is Christ. (...). There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him».

Let us hope that this day, when we remember the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, martyr, overwhelms us, in its etymological meaning of the word, and thus, full of God, may we valiantly bear witness of our faith in Jesus. That our Christian life may also move around the Person of Jesus, which will grant it his full meaning and implication.