AUGUST 29, 2017
8:45 AM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASS (3RD GRADE)
Today the vestments are red, and so either someone died or we're dealing with the Holy Spirit.
It is a martyr of sorts – today we honor the Passion of St. John the Baptist.
He was Jesus's cousin and was 3 months older than Jesus.
When he grew up, he became a great prophet. He lived in the desert, ate locusts and wild honey, wore camel skin robes. He baptized Jesus in the Jordan, preached a message of repentance, and was killed by King Herod ... the last part was what we heard in the Gospel reading.
John must have looked like a wildman in animal skins and eating bugs. He may have been a Nazarite – which was a man who was totally consecrated to God's service. Jesus said John the Baptist was a prophet, and even more than a prophet.
The way the Church picked today is because it is the day that the skull of John the Baptist was moved from the middle east to Rome in the 4th century.
It's kept in San Silvestro in Capite – which I think means St. Sylvester's Church with "the" head ... meaning John's head. And you can see the photos of the outside and inside of the church.
In the middle ages, on this day, people would refrain from using knives or eating off of platters ... as well as not eating anything that was shaped like a head. So, maybe in the middle ages, you could have gotten away with *not* eating your vegetables on this feast day.
St. John the Baptist: pray for us!