Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honour, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist.  The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him:  rejection and martyrdom.   The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth.   But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?

This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah.   His vocation was one of selfless giving.   The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of yjr Lord.   “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.   I am not worthy to carry His sandals.   He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power.   John never allowed himself the false honour of receiving these people for his own glory.   He knew his calling was one of preparation.   When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus:   “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’   The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37).

It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ.   John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people.   His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions  . His heart was lifted on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart.   Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation, repentance, and salvation.

Each of us has a calling to which we must listen.   No-one will ever repeat the mission of John and yet all of us are called to that very mission.   It is the role of the Christian to witness to Jesus.   Whatever our position in this world, we are called to be disciples of Christ.   By our words and deeds, others should realise that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord.   We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources but can draw strength from the vastness of Christ’s saving grace.

St John the Baptist, Pray for us!st-john-the-baptist-pray-for-us-2-29 aug 2017


Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and bless you 🙏

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