The Passion of St. John the Baptist (Memorial)
Tuesday 29th August, 2017
But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.
And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land.
They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.”
Psalms 71:1-6, 15, 17
In thee, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
In thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline thy ear to me, and save me!
Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. 6Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee.
My mouth will tell of thy righteous acts, of thy deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
O God, from my youth thou hast taught me, and I still proclaim thy wondrous deeds.
For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero’di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her.
For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
And Hero’di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.
But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee.
For when Hero’di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.”
And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.”
And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.