Today’s Gospel: Mark 6:17-29 – Passion of St. John the Baptist
In today’s Gospel, we see a foreshadowing of Christ’s passion in the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. Just like John, Our Lord was politically oppressed and martyred for speaking the truth. He is condemned by a reluctant political figure who chooses what is politically advantageous over the right thing to do. He is incarcerated, killed and his body is taken away by the faithful for burial.
And so, John, the elder cousin, both preceded and followed Christ faithfully from the womb until death, all the while pointing towards Christ and away from himself. Before the Crucifixion, John shared in Christ’s passion through his martyrdom. Remember that Christ warned His Apostles that they must suffer like Him to attain glory with Him in Heaven. “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” -Mt 20:22
When we think of John, we think of power, resolve, and strength. We see a man dedicated to right and truth above his very life. In comparison, Herod is weak. He is manipulated by his wife and her daughter. He is motivated by fear in his decisions, worried what people will think. How foolish. Both men are dead. What has Herod attained? What does he have now?
Drinking from the cup of Christ’s passion is no small thing. The pain and fear are real. Throughout his life, John embraces suffering and overcomes fear. He now enjoys his heavenly reward forever continuing his mission of calling us to Christ. When we suffer in this life, let us look to John the Baptist, offering our suffering to God, and pray that we, too, may share in Christ’s cup here and in the next life.
Do I spend too much time and effort on the rewards of this world? Do I ever sacrifice what is right to save my reputation or fulfill the expectations of others?
Lord, fill me with the strength to drink the cup You set before me. Your will be done!
Copyright 2017 Kate Daneluk
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