Today the Church celebrates the Martyrdom of St John the Baptist. If you look at today’s Gospel (Mark 6:17-29), you might notice that Jesus doesn’t even garner a mention. Or does he? In Mark 6:20, we see something interesting after John challenges Herod about stealing his brother’s wife,
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.
Why would Herod, a ruler clothed in immense power, who’s just been told he’s been a naughty boy, like to listen to a man who tells him he’s doing the wrong thing?
Because John the Baptist spoke the truth. Go to John 14:6 if you missed where Jesus is in this gospel.
Many of you are probably getting ready to launch your ministry year very soon. Some of you may already have. I love this gospel because it reminds me why I am in ministry. It’s not for the pleasure, the paycheck, the pizza, or the praise. I am afforded the opportunity to speak the truth – to proclaim Christ in love. I get a front row seat to witness people being confronted by the truth, and journey with them, even if they are perplexed. I get to see hearts changed – not by my words, but by the infinitely powerful love and mercy of God.
I’m on the eve of my 2nd anniversary of working for the Diocese of Baker. I’m so happy that it’s Labor Day weekend. It’s the final hurrah for me and my family before we get back into the routine of school, and me traveling all over the place proclaiming Christ. But I need to remember, before I can proclaim Christ, I must first know (and eat, sleep, breathe, adore, worship etc.) Christ. I encourage you, this weekend, to dwell upon this scripture – Matthew 11:28-30. Fuel up, rest, restore, and allow God to breathe in to you again as you prepare to continue to proclaim Truth to all you encounter.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”