The Beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio
Reading for Sunday: Mark 6:14-19
After Jesus’ family rejects him, further family pain comes in the murder of his cousin, John the Baptist. Herod Antipas beheads this last and greatest of the prophets.
This Herod is the son of Herod the Great, the one that made magnificent expansions on the Second Temple; he murdered the innocent babies of Bethlehem when the Magi went back to their countries.
Notice the vices present, all of the seven traditional ones: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. One vice breeds another, especially when pride is embedded in a person.
Be sobered by this evil, and the atrocious murders that take place in our day because the same evils are present. Be with John’s disciples as they quietly come and bury him; stay close to Jesus and feel his pain.
The Reading for Today
This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
We are reading from the Gospel of Mark until the First Sunday in Advent.