Our remembrance today of the Baptist’s martyrdom calls to mind that we are baptized not only with water but also in the fire of the Holy Spirit. Today, I keenly recall that we are in fact, unfit to untie the Lord’s sandals. That we need the Spirit to cry Ecce in front of the person of Jesus. What further does this killing of the cousin of the Lord teach us? What value does our memorial have in reality for us today?
Benedict XVI said, “celebrating the martyrdom of St John the Baptist reminds us too, Christians of this time, that with love for Christ, for his words and for the Truth, we cannot stoop to compromises. The Truth is Truth; there are no compromises. Christian life demands, so to speak the “martyrdom” of the daily fidelity to the Gospel, the courage, that is, to let Christ grow within us and let him be the One who guides our thoughts and actions” (August 29, 2012).