The Beheading Edition: Saints and Scripture Sunday

If it wasn’t Sunday, it would be the memorial of the beheading of St. John the Baptist.

“Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him , It is not lawful for you to to have her.’ Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.’ The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:3-12

We are very fortunate in our country that we haven’t had to die or endure serious suffering for our faith; not yet, at least. I can see it happening in the near future though, if society continues as is and the government continues to seize control of all aspects of our lives.  We live in scary times, don’t we?

Saint John is an incredible witness to the faith for our times. He was bold and not afraid to speak the truth, to call out Herod for doing what was unlawful and not pleasing to the Lord – no matter what the cost. He was the forerunner of Christ and it cost him his life. He was not afraid to go against the grain and ruffle some feathers.

Me? I shy away from talking about the Lord or standing up for the tenets of our faith, especially in casual conversations. Sure, it’s easy to talk about Jesus and faith here on my blog. It’s almost like “preaching to the choir” because many who read my blog share the same values/belief system as me.

It’s not like talking to family, friends or acquaintances face to face. All the ‘what-ifs” pop up: What would he/she think? What if I’m rejected? What if they don’t want to be friends anymore or talk to me anymore? It’s all unfounded fear based on “me” and not pure love.

Pure love is “willing the good of another.” The ultimate “good” is God and being with him forever. If I truly love, than I want all people to be with God in heaven. So, if speaking out is the ultimate good for that person, then I shouldn’t let let fear stop me. But, I do.

There is such an assault on our values: contraception, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, pre-marital relations. The Ten Commandments are pretty much ignored and those who follow the teachings of the Church are considered “out-of-touch” and old-fashioned. If one lives out their faith with any regularity they are considered fanatics.

We (and I’m speaking mostly about myself here) need to be like Saint John the Baptist. Be bold. Go against the grain. Speak out. We need to “die to ourselves” and live fully in Jesus and then allow Jesus to work through us  to bring His love to others. Yes, we need to pray for others, but we (I) also need to reach out and not be afraid to call them out, in love, when we can.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us! Help us to be faithful and confident witnesses for Christ!

(For more Saints and Scripture head over to Kennedy Adventures.)

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Comments

  1. Can you hear me cheering over here?

    I shied away from mentioning St John, just because I couldn’t figure out how to tie him into my thoughts today.

    I do think it’s important to tackle the big topics on our blogs — we may be ‘preaching to the choir’, but I have a few thoughts about that.
    – You never know who may be reading, and what type of influence you may have.
    – We have many people within our own church, who ignore our teachings, and stand in direct opposition to our Faith. Those folks need to hear an example from Catholics who are faithful to our Church.
    – Those of us who follow our Church’s teachings need to hear that we are not alone — this road is HARD, and sometimes, it’s no fun being counter-cultural.

    Thank you so much for this lovely post, and thanks for playing along!
    Dianna…recently posted…Respect your elders- Saints and Scripture SundayMy Profile

  2. SimpleCatholic says:

    You are a doll, Dianna! Thanks so much for your kind words.

    You are so right, too. In the short time I’ve been blogging, and slowly connecting w/ others, I cant tell you how often I’ve been convicted in my own faith and grateful to find that I’m not alone in my struggles.

  3. My parish didnt’ even mention this and we are St John the Baptist Catholic Church 🙁
    For some strange reason there was no homily today.. not sure if Father forgot or was too angry when folks applauded for Sister Susanne that he chose not to speak in fear of yelling
    Renee G…recently posted…Sunday Snippets-A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

  4. SimpleCatholic says:

    Hi Renee,

    Memorial and feast days are suppressed on Sundays because Sundays are “little Resurrections” and therefore take precedence. So, often times the feasts that fall on Sundays don’t get mentioned. It is surprising that St. John the Baptist wasn’t mentioned since he is the patron of your Church.

    I don’t know why Sister Susanne was speaking during mass, so I really can’t comment on that; but, I know there are some priests who won’t/don’t give a homily when there is a visiting speaker. According to the rubrics they are supposed to, but some priests ignore that precept.

  5. We are very fortunate in our country that we haven’t had to die or endure serious suffering for our faith; not yet, at least.

    You must realize that just over 150 years ago Catholics were openly persecuted in the United States. Philadelphia Nativist Riots – Wiki

    Yes, nonchalance towards moral matters is a problem these days but that moral void means that Catholics/Christians have an unprecedented opportunity to influence society.

    Peace.

  6. I hear you about preaching to the choir–and not preaching in the park…
    RAnn…recently posted…Sunday Snippets-A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

  7. Sometimes it is just simply living the Gospel that preaches the word. God calls each of us to a specific way to witness. In recent years I’ve found it easier and easier to speak about God and His blessings and Catholic truth in conversation with others, especially non-Catholics who are amazed that a Catholic actually knows sacred scripture. lol. Don’t worry. He will give you the grace to do whatever He asks. And we should never underestimate the power of proclaiming the truth in our blogs, however few our readers may be. May God always send you the readers who need to hear what you have to say.
    Barb…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      That’s wonderful, Barb! What a wonderful witness for the Lord you are and a great example for all of us.

      Thank you for your encouraging words, too!

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