Voices ever ancient, ever new. Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist 2013.

Commenting on Mark 6:28 from today’s Scriptures, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment? Who are those he did not set back on their feet—provided they had a penitent disposition—because of what he spoke, because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims in our own day—the same message he preached while he was living. Therefore, do not say: “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death, but a crown, not an end, but the beginning of a greater life. Learn to think and live like a Christian. You will not only remain unharmed by these events, but will reap the greatest benefits.” (On the Providence of God, 22)

Today is also the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist. Click here for a commentary on the Baptist’s death by Saint Bede the Venerable (the selection is taken from today’s Liturgy of the Hours, Office of Readings).

Pope Benedict XVI spoke on Saint John the Baptist during an audience in August 2012.

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.