Daily Mass Readings for Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2
- First Reading – Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24: “But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 69: “Lord, in your great love, answer me.”
- Gospel – Matthew 14:1-12: “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.”
In today’s gospel, we hear of the death of John the Baptist. Like many martyrs, John had the audacity to speak truth to power.
Herod had taken his brother’s wife as his own. He was a powerful man who saw what he wanted and took it. John could have looked the other way, but he did not, even though he would suffer the consequences of speaking up.
It is difficult to get involved when we don’t feel we will come out on top. And even harder when we are pretty certain that voicing the truth will be to our own detriment. We feel small and alone. This is the time to remember that we are being held in the hands of God, being gazed upon with love.
Lord, help me to listen to you and hear what you are asking. Spirit of the Living God, make me bold! Grant me the courage to speak truth to power when that is what you need me to do. I place my life in your hands. Amen.
From Bishop Robert Barron. In today’s Gospel, Herod has John the Baptist beheaded, making him a protomartyr of Christ’s followers, the first of many martyrs to come.
Both Jeremiah and John the Baptist were prophets who listened to God and obeyed his command to speak truth to power.