It is 29th August 2016. We celebrate the Passion of St. John the Baptist. The readings are from Jer.1:17-19 and the Gospel from Mk.6:17-29. We read in the entrance antiphon of the Eucharist, “I spoke, O Lord, of your decrees before kings, and was not confounded; I pondered your commands and loved them greatly.” (Ps.119:46). The first reading invites us to be fearless when faced with spiritual challenges and relates with the sufferings of the John the Baptist. John the Baptist is just more than a prophet. He is the voice of the Spirit of Truth, which encourages someone to bear witness for the Eternal Truth, God no matter who stands against it. It is John the Baptist who pointed the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. When we are led by the Spirit of Truth, we recognize the presence of Jesus in others too. Both Jeremiah and John suffered for standing up for God. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength.” (Ps71:6). The Gospel presents the martyrdom of John the Baptist and how he was committed in his faith. He was murdered for a promise in vain. John the Baptist went to prison for proclaiming the Kingdom of God and because of the jealousy of Herodias. Our love for Christ becomes meaningful when we stand for truth even to the level of going through persecution, suffering and death. It is Holy Spirit provides us with needed courage, love, and boldness to stand for Christ. Let our lives resonate what we believe. May you have good and peaceful day. God bless you.