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Memorial of the The Passion of St. John the Baptist.


Alleluia Mt 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia.


REFLECTION


Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.


Righteousness ...in Hebrew the word tsaddik means "upright". In the Greek form, δικαιοσύνη is defined as "just" or “justice."


Who was St. John the Baptist? He was the son of a Levite, a priest. The child of Elizabeth, Mary of Nazareth's cousin and Jesus' cousin. He is "the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord! (Isaiah 40: 3)


As a son of a Levite, John the Baptist studied and knew the Torah, the Law, and he obeyed the Commandments or as the Israelites named them the Mitzvot. John lived a strict life of self-denial. He ate locusts and honey, fasted, and did penance (wore camel hair). He preached to repent and prepare for the Lord by washing away your sins. John was called the Baptist because he baptized those who wanted to change their sinful lives.


John was not afraid to confront the Pharisees and the Scribes about their hypocritical ways. He, also, told Herod that he was living in sin by marrying his brother's wife. John told Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." Because Herodias did not like hearing the truth from John, she schemed to literally have John the Baptist's head served to her on a platter.


It is hard to accept the truth, many people lose friends and sometimes make enemies when they tell the truth. Today the truth is not based on factual evidence or reality. Like John the Baptist we must teach those misled and tell them the truth out of love. Jesus during his three years of his proclaiming the Kingdom of God corrected the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees concerning their contradictory behavior out of love.


Let us pray for the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests to tell the people the truth. Let us pray that they are not afraid to speak the truth from their pulpits.


Let us pray the PAPA Prayer for Priests to speak the truth to the people.

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