Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
(I Corinthians 2:15; Mark 6:17-29)
This summer the archdiocesan schools of Chicago have publicized a prayer for a peaceful summer. They are not making a conventional plea of goodwill among all people. Rather the city’s ghettos have become battlegrounds that threaten the lives of children. Such wanton violence claims Jesus’ forerunner in today’s gospel.
John has preached the coming of one greater than he to impart the Spirit of holiness. He was arrested by King Herod for condemning the king’s unlawful marriage. Now he is killed out of the spite felt by the king’s wife. John has shown himself to be a true prophet by announcing God’s will to the world and suffering dire consequences for it.
We honor John today for pointing the way to Jesus. We give both Jesus and John honor by working to end violence. We can strive to eliminate violence from our thoughts and our tongues. We can also teach children to do likewise.