John the Baptist precedes Jesus in his birth, preaching and death. John’s witness to the Lord and the giving of his life inspire us to consider how we offer our lives each day to Christ…until the day when the Lord takes us by the hand at the hour of our own death.
The death of John the Baptist is an outrage, a stark example of human cruelty that assaults our sensibilities. While we acknowledge the presence of violence and hatred in our world we continue to see in the Cross of Christ God’s response: a love that embraces our sins.
Mary and Elizabeth – pregnant with Jesus and John the Baptist – meet and rejoice at the goodness of the Lord. Both women knew hardship, yet their faith inspires us to see God at work…in good times and in bad.
The death of John the Baptist recalls the fact that doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason does NOT mean that life will always be easy. In fact, our faith in Jesus Christ will sometimes put us squarely in the face of opposition…and we recognize that we might suffer even as we serve the Lord with all our heart.
John the Baptist proclaims that “one mightier than I is coming” into the world. As we encounter the mystery of God we have the opportunity to let go of our need to control and receive the blessing of heavenly grace.