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The Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

My dear encountered couples:

The title of today’s feast is a sign of the changing times. Until recent years it was called the “Beheading of John the Baptist”. And then it was replaced to the “The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist.” And now it is called the “Passion” of St. John the Baptist”.

It all amounts to the same thing. John gave his life for Christ when Herod had his head cut off at the request of his step daughter who wanted it presented to her on a platter. Could Edgar Allan Poe think up a more morbid scene?

We might get some kind of unexplainable enjoyment out of reading books and seeing movies that depict such horrifying events, but we can’t imagine anybody with such a sick mind as to make such things actually happen in real life. Unfortunately, such sick minds do exist, and in people. The torture and murder of people and animals that go on in our world today is even more horrendous and sick than the details of the passion of John the Baptist.

You know how it is with stealing. The little boy first steals a nickel, then a dollar, then a hundred. Or the tourist first takes a few towels, then some sheets, then a TV from the motel room. Keep it up and stealing a car or knocking off a bank might not seem so far-out.

If we freely give in to small sins, then larger ones, we might arrive at the point of unbelievability.

Sin does something to the mind. What is it? You don’t want to find out. If King Herod had stopped sinning when he was younger, he might never have become so unbelievable. Let’s avoid the smallest of sins.a

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