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Friday, August 29, 2008

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Beheading of St. John the Baptizer


Jeremiah 1:17-19
Psalm 71
Mark 6:17-29

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"heads are rolling"

"He promptly dispatched an executioner, ordering him to bring back the Baptizer's head." —Mark 6:27

The feast days of most canonized saints are on the days of their deaths. Consequently, martyrs' feast days are usually the days of their martyrdom. Yet we have no other feast named like today's feast, "the Beheading of John the Baptizer." We don't have feasts called "The Burning of Lawrence," "The Torture of Vincent," "The Beating of Sebastian," or "The Beheading of Thomas More." Yet the Church names today's feast, "The Beheading of John the Baptizer."

This may be because beheading is one of the devil's major strategies against God's people. The battle is for our minds, and the devil is trying to behead us spiritually by conforming our minds to this age (Rm 12:2). Furthermore, husbands are the heads of their wives (1 Cor 11:3), parents heads of their children, pastors heads of their churches, and leaders heads of their ministries. The devil tries to spiritually behead wives, children, churches, and ministries by keeping husbands spiritually immature, encouraging parents to be spiritually irresponsible, leading pastors into sin, and making leaders worldly wise, but spiritual fools.

Heads are rolling! Be on guard. Repent. Obey the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, may I use my head according to Your will.

Promise:  "They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." —Jer 1:19

Praise:  St. John the Baptizer was such a powerful preacher that King Herod feared him even when he was in prison (Mk 6:20).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare, or our audio AV 57-3 or video V-57.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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