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Friday, February 5th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 6:14-29.


Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

5 February 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“The head of John the Baptist.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:14-29.

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, «John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; That is why mighty powers are at work in him.»
Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore (many things) to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Biblehub

DAILY MASS – Friday 5 February 2016   

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

5 February 2016

Commentary of the day

Origen (c.185-253),

1 Origen3

 Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Homily 27 on St. Luke, 2-4

Christ’s precursor in his birth and in his death

      Let us admire John the Baptist above all because of the following testimony: “There is no man born of woman greater than John.” (Lk 7:28) Because of his merit, he was renowned for his virtue that many people thought he was the Christ (Lk 3:15). But there is still something that is far more admirable: Herod the tetrarch enjoyed royal power and was able to cause his death whenever he wanted. Now Herod had committed an unjust act that was contrary to the law of Moses by taking his brother’s wife. John was not afraid of him and did not look on the person, nor was he worried about his royal power or afraid of death… Without covering over all these dangers from himself, he reprimanded Herod with the freedom of the prophets and reproached him for his marriage. For this audacity, he was thrown into prison, but he was not worried about death or about a trial with an uncertain outcome; rather, in chains, his thoughts went to Christ, whom he had announced.

Since John couldn’t go to Jesus himself, he sent his disciples to get information: “Are you ‘He who is to come’ or are we to expect someone else?” (Lk 7:19) Note that even in prison, John taught. Even in that place, he had disciples. Even in prison, John fulfilled his task as master and taught his disciples through conversations about God. Under these circumstances, the question concerning Jesus came up, and so John sent him some disciples…

The disciples came back and told their master what the Savior had told them to proclaim. For John, this answer was a weapon in facing the combat. He died with assurance and let himself be beheaded with a big heart, assured by the word of the Lord himself that he in whom he believed really was the Son of God. John the Baptist’s freedom was so great, Herod’s madness was so great that to his many crimes he first added that of imprisoning John the Baptist and then he murdered him.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

5 February 2016

Saint of the day

St. Agatha,

Virgin & Martyr (+ 251) – Memorial

Sant_Agata_Z

SAINT AGATHA
Virgin and Martyr
(+ 251)

        St. Agatha was born in Sicily, of rich and noble parents-a child of benediction from the first, for she was promised to her parents before her birth, and consecrated from her earliest infancy to God. In the midst of dangers and temptations she served Christ in purity of body and soul, and she died for the love of chastity. Quintanus, who governed Sicily under the Emperor Decius, had heard the rumor of her beauty and wealth, and he made the laws against the Christians a pretext for summoning her from Palermo to Catania, where he was at the time. “O Jesus Christ!” she cried, as she set out on this dreaded journey, “all that I am is Thine; preserve me against the tyrant.”

And Our Lord did indeed preserve one who had given herself so utterly to Him. He kept her pure and undefiled while she was imprisoned for a whole month under charge of an evil woman. He gave her strength to reply to the offer of her life and safety, if she would but consent to sin, “Christ alone is my life and my salvation.” When Quintanus turned from passion to cruelty, and cut off her breasts, Our Lord sent the Prince of His apostles to heal her. And when, after she had been rolled naked upon potsherds, she asked that her torments might be ended, her Spouse heard her prayer and took her to Himself.

    St. Agatha gave herself without reserve to Jesus Christ; she followed Him in virginal purity, and then looked to Him for protection. And down to this day Christ has shown His tender regard for the very body of St. Agatha. Again and again, during the eruptions of Mount Etna, the people of Catania have exposed her veil for public veneration, and found safety by this means; and in modern times, on opening the tomb in which her body lies waiting for the resurrection, they beheld the skin still entire, and felt the sweet fragrance which issued from this temple of the Holy Spirit.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Mark 16:15-20

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

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