The beheading of St John the Baptist

Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Mark (6: 17-29) about the death of John the Baptist.

As Fr Paul mentioned in a previous reflection, John the Baptist has two feasts in our Church.  In June we celebrate his birth and in August his death.

Fr Paul says this is as it should be when we remember the words of Jesus, ‘A greater man than John the Baptist has never been born’.  And so John, deservedly, has two feasts in the life of our Church being the greatest but, sadly, also the most tragic. He was a prophet before he was born when he leapt in his mother’s womb at the coming of Jesus.

John’s task was to proclaim that God was coming and he did this with unequalled courage and he spread the good news.  Even though he could have been tempted to stay in the spotlight, John stepped back as Jesus stepped up to his ministry.  With the coming of Jesus, John had accomplished his mission.

For our prayer and reflection today, Fr Paul invites to us pray that we, too, may have the gift of courage to proclaim our faith, the good news, to others and that we might have the humility to step back and allow God.