John the Baptist Beheaded

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

Daily Bible Breaths

Version for Children and Families

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.

2 thoughts on “John the Baptist Beheaded

  1. Confusion… what is John saying, what does he mean?
    Attraction… John is from God. Herod wants to hear more.
    Crime, sin… brother-in-law and sister-in-law marry.
    Offense… John dared to expose the sin for what it was.
    Rage… how dare he!
    Revenge… it will be had.
    Plot, manipulation… Herodias will use any person in any way to get what she wants.
    Ego… better to murder than to be embarassed.
    Horror… how could it be anything else?
    Mourning, agony… John, the great man of God, has been murdered
    Confusion… how could God let this happen

    Confusion… who is Jesus?
    Fear… is Jesus really John come back from the dead? What will he do?
    Confusion… what is Jesus saying, what does he mean?
    Attraction… Jesus is God. I want to know more

    Confusion… how can it be that Jesus died for me?
    Confusion… how can God forgive a sinner like me?
    Confusion… how can an imperfect sinner like me be loved by God?

    Oh yes, confused is humanity’s normal state of affairs when approaching or attempting to understand God. Thank God that we are not capable or required to understand the Mystery. Thank God that the answer to the confusion is Jesus and surrender of our very being to him.


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