Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.
18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”
20 Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11
1 Rejoice, you righteous, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting.
2 Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; on the ten-stringed lyre offer praise.
4 For the LORD’s word is upright; all his works are trustworthy.
5 He loves justice and right. The earth is full of the mercy of the LORD.
10 The LORD foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples.
11 But the plan of the LORD stands forever, the designs of his heart through all generations.
Gospel: Mark 6:17-29
17 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero’di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her.
18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
19 And Hero’di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee.
22 For when Hero’di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.”
23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
24 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.”
25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
27 And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,
28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
ESV | photo credit