Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you,
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
John, son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, was minding his own business when he came to understand that God wanted him to do something quite different with his life. So he went to the desert where he gradually learned that he was to preach a baptism of repentance. John is described as “the voice of one crying in the desert.” John’s prophetic preaching eventually brought him to the Jordan river, where he meets Jesus, his cousin. “Behold the Lamb of God,” John shouts, as Jesus asks him for baptism. Eventually John is imprisoned and then beheaded at Herod’s command, as Mark’s gospel account describes.
Today’s reading from Thessalonians helps us understand John’s life of brotherly love. God used John to introduce the life and purpose, the ministry and mission of Jesus as our Savior, the redeemer of the world. John’s life of faith invites us “to love one another” and “to make even greater progress.” What small steps can I take today to live out my own baptism in love and in service?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
God our Father, you called John the Baptist to be the herald of your son’s birth and death.
As he gave his life in witness to truth and justice, so may we strive to profess faith in your gospel.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—The Roman Sacramentary.