Today is a holy day on which we pay honor to the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. Beheaded at the drunken whim of Herod Antipas, St. John was forerunner not only of Christ’s birth but also His innocent death at the hand of human wickedness.
Many followed John and looked to him for hope. He was to prepare the way and was not himself the Way. John gave his life and death to fulfill his call, and to lead others to Jesus, his Savior. John’s persecutor, Herod, demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Regardless of threat and imprisonment, confident of God’s love and grace, John courageously spoke truth, repentance, and salvation in the face of Herod’s disgraceful actions.
May we, like John, answer our call with all our hearts. May others see in our lives the joy of knowing and serving Jesus.