Thursday 29 August 2019

About Today Readings

The Passion of St John The Baptist

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13. Psalm 89(90):3-4, 12-14, 17. Matthew 24:42-51/Mark 6:17-29.

Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! – Psalm 89(90):3-4, 12-14, 17.

‘May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all.’

Discipleship costs not less than everything. The saying, ‘No prophet ever died in his bed’, is certainly true of John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament line of prophets. Jesus described him as ‘a burning and shining lamp’ (John 5:35) and said of him, ‘Among those born of women no one has risen greater than John’ (Matthew 11:11).

Jesus warned his disciples – and, implicitly, his followers ever more – that they too might suffer the same fate as John. ‘They will hand you over to be tortured, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name’ (Matthew 24:9). We live in an age of Christian martyrs who daily witness to the truth that the cost of discipleship is not less than everything. Let us turn to the Father to give us courage for the daily trials we face.

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