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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14,1-12. breski1 Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, "This man is John the Baptist. He has been raise…More
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14,1-12. breski1
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, "This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him."
Now Herod had arrested John, bound (him), and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod
so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given,
and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB


Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157)

Cistercian abbot
3rd Sermon for the Nativity of John the Baptist ; SC 202 (trans. ©Cistercian Fathers series)

The greatness of John the Baptist
This was John's greatness, in virtue of which he reached such heights of greatness among the great that he crowned his great and countless virtues (…) with the greatest of all the virtues, humility. Reckoned as he was the highest of all, he freely and with the greatest devotion preferred to himself the Most Lowly One—and he put him before himself to such an extent as to declare himself unworthy to take off his shoes (Mt 3:11). Let others wonder that he was foretold by prophets, that he was promised by an angel and (…) that he came of so holy and noble parents, even though they were old and sterile (…); that he preceded the coming of the Redeemer (…) and prepared his way in the desert, that he converted the hearts of fathers to their sons and of sons to their fathers, (Lk 1:17) that he merited to baptize the Son, to hear the Father and to see the Holy Spirit, (Lk 3:22), and finally, that he strove for the truth even to death and, so that he might go before Christ also to the lower regions, was Christ's martyr before Christ's passion. Let others, I say, wonder at these things (…). What is set before us, brethren, not only to be wondered at but also to be imitated, is the virtue of his humility, by which he refused to be regarded as greater than he was, although he could have been (…). For, as a faithful “friend of the Bridegroom”, (Jn 3:29) a lover more of the Lord than of himself, he wished that he himself might “diminish” in order that Christ might “grow” (v. 30) and made it his business to increase Christ’s glory by means of his own diminution. Before St. Paul he made his own, in deed and truth, those words of the Apostle: "We do not preach ourselves but the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Cor 4:5).