by | Aug 28, 2022 | Evangelium

Monday 29 th august 2022


The Beheading

of St. John the Baptist


John the Baptist is the only saint in the calendar (apart from St Joseph) who has two feasts to himself. One, in August, celebrates his death, and one, in June, celebrates his birth. And this is as it should be, for as Christ himself said, John was the greatest of the sons of men.

Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Ps 118: 46-47

I spoke, O Lord, of your decrees before kings, and was not confounded; I pondered your commands and loved them greatly.



O God, who willed that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we too may fight hard for the confession of what you teach. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


First reading : 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great ‘fear and trembling’ and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.


Psalm 118(119):97-102

R/  Lord, how I love your law!


  1. Lord, how I love your law! It is ever in my mind. Your command makes me wiser than my foes; for it is mine forever.
  2. I have more insight than all who teach me for I ponder your will. I have more understanding than the old for I keep your precepts.
  3. I turn my feet from evil paths to obey your word. I have not turned from your decrees; you yourself have taught me.


Gospel Acclamation : Mt5:10

Alleluia, alleluia! Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia!


Gospel : Mark 6:17-29

Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him. An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’ And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’ She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish.’ The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her. So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head. The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


Prayer over the Offerings

Through these offerings which we bring you, O Lord, grant that we may make straight your paths, as taught by that voice crying in the desert, Saint John the Baptist, who powerfully sealed his teaching by the shedding of his blood. Through Christ our Lord.


Communion Antiphon : Jn 3:27,30

John answered and said: He must increase; but I must decrease.


Prayer after Communion

Grant, O Lord, as we celebrate the heavenly birth of Saint John the Baptist, that we may revere, for what it signifies, the saving Sacrament we have received and, even more, may rejoice at its clear effects in us. Through Christ our Lord.



John the Baptist was truthful to Herod, Herodias’ hatred may have influenced his decision, but it was Herod who gave the order to kill him. John’s greatness was his respect for a job well done and a life well lived. Herod also respected him for this and he knew that John was accusing him with reason. The death of the Baptist is the practical consequence of living the beatitudes: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice”. Let us ask God every day to grant us this courage of John the Baptist.