Le 29 Août

Publié le 28 Août 2016

Évangile de Jésus Christ selon

saint Marc 6,17-29.


Hérode avait donné l’ordre d’arrêter Jean et de l’enchaîner dans la prison, à cause d’Hérodiade, la femme de son frère Philippe, que lui-même avait prise pour épouse.
En effet, Jean lui disait : « Tu n’as pas le droit de prendre la femme de ton frère. »
Hérodiade en voulait donc à Jean, et elle cherchait à le faire mourir. Mais elle n’y arrivait pas
parce que Hérode avait peur de Jean : il savait que c’était un homme juste et saint, et il le protégeait ; quand il l’avait entendu, il était très embarrassé ; cependant il l’écoutait avec plaisir.
Or, une occasion favorable se présenta quand, le jour de son anniversaire, Hérode fit un dîner pour ses dignitaires, pour les chefs de l’armée et pour les notables de la Galilée.
La fille d’Hérodiade fit son entrée et dansa. Elle plut à Hérode et à ses convives. Le roi dit à la jeune fille : « Demande-moi ce que tu veux, et je te le donnerai. »
Et il lui fit ce serment : « Tout ce que tu me demanderas, je te le donnerai, même si c’est la moitié de mon royaume. »
Elle sortit alors pour dire à sa mère : « Qu’est-ce que je vais demander ? » Hérodiade répondit : « La tête de Jean, celui qui baptise. »
Aussitôt la jeune fille s’empressa de retourner auprès du roi, et lui fit cette demande : « Je veux que, tout de suite, tu me donnes sur un plat la tête de Jean le Baptiste. »
Le roi fut vivement contrarié ; mais à cause du serment et des convives, il ne voulut pas lui opposer un refus.
Aussitôt il envoya un garde avec l’ordre d’apporter la tête de Jean. Le garde s’en alla décapiter Jean dans la prison.
Il apporta la tête sur un plat, la donna à la jeune fille, et la jeune fille la donna à sa mère.
Ayant appris cela, les disciples de Jean vinrent prendre son corps et le déposèrent dans un tombeau.

Commentaire du jour


Saint Maxime de Turin (?-v. 420), évêque
Sermon 36 (trad. coll. Pères dans la foi n°65, p. 16)

« Et toi, petit enfant, on t'appellera prophète du Très-Haut » (Lc 1,76)

Parmi les titres de gloire du saint et bienheureux Jean Baptiste, dont nous célébrons la fête aujourd'hui, je ne sais auquel donner la préférence : à sa naissance miraculeuse ou à sa mort plus miraculeuse encore. Sa naissance a apporté une prophétie (Lc 1,67s), sa mort la vérité ; sa naissance a annoncé l'arrivée du Sauveur, sa mort a condamné l'inceste d'Hérode. Cet homme saint...a mérité aux yeux de Dieu de ne pas disparaître de la même façon que les autres hommes de ce monde : il a quitté ce corps reçu du Seigneur en le confessant. Jean a accompli en tout la volonté de Dieu, puisque sa vie comme sa mort correspondent à ses desseins...

Il est encore au creux du ventre de sa mère quand déjà il célèbre l'arrivée du Seigneur, par ses mouvements de joie, puisqu'il ne pouvait pas le faire par la voix. Élisabeth dit à la sainte Marie : « Dès l'instant où ta salutation a frappé mes oreilles, l'enfant a tressailli d'allégresse en mon sein » (Lc 1,44). Jean exulte donc avant de naître, et avant que ses yeux ne reconnaissent à quoi ressemble le monde, son esprit reconnaît déjà celui qui en est le maître. Je pense que c'est là le sens de la phrase du prophète : « Avant même de te former au ventre maternel, je t'ai connu ; avant même que tu sois sorti du sein, je t'ai consacré » (Jr 1,5). Ne nous étonnons donc pas si, enfermé dans la prison où l'avait fait mettre Hérode, il a continué à prêcher le Christ par l'intermédiaire de ses disciples (Mt 11,2), puisque, enfermé qu'il était dans le sein de sa mère, il annonçait déjà de ses tressaillements la venue du Seigneur.

In English

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:17-29.


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.

The Contemplation

Today I wish to invite you all to meditate on two words in the gospel, which have some contradiction: ‘knowing’ John Baptist as righteous and ordering to kill him. Many at time we cling on to this knowledge, particularly the divine knowledge. This divine knowledge is important for us to grow in the Lord. However this divine knowledge alone doesn’t help us to grow in our spirituality nor to establish a deep relationship with the Lord. On this feast day of John Baptist we have two examples, one to imitate and the other to dispose.

John the Baptist was considered by Jesus as the greatest among those born on this earth demonstrates a wonderful quality to imitate in our lives: the capacity to remain faithful to the truth and remain prophetic in declaring the same truth. Whereas, in the life of Herod, this faithfulness to the truth was lacking. Though the knowledge was sufficiently enough to discern the right action, his ordering to kill proves to us his unfaithfulness to the same intellectual knowledge that he has acquired.

Today we are called to be prophetic, in the sense, to be faithful to the teachings of the lord and express our fidelity in its application. Though humanly we are weak and prone to temptation, if we remain faithful in the application of the teachings of the Lord, we too will be counted just like John Baptist as great in the Kingdom of God.

Commentary of the day


Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
Sermon 36

« And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High » (Lk 1,76)

Among all the holy and blessed ones, I do not know which to prefer of all the claims to glory of John the Baptist, whose feast we celebrate today : his miraculous birth or his even more miraculous death. His birth carried a prophecy with it (Lk 1:67 f.), his death, the truth; his birth announced the Savior's coming, his death condemned Herod's incestuous relationship. This holy saint... was worthy in God's eyes of not departing from it in the same way as others do in this world: he left the body he had received from the Lord while he was confessing him. In all things John fulfilled God's will since his life, like his death, corresponded to God's designs...

Even while still in his mother's womb he celebrated the Lord's coming with joyful movements since he was unable to do so by word. Elizabeth said to blessed Mary: “When the voice of your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy” (Lk 1:44). John, then, rejoiced before his birth, and even before his eyes could see what the world looks like, his spirit already recognised who is its Lord. I think that this is the meaning of the prophet's words: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before were born I had consecrated you” (Jer 1:5). So let us not be astonished if, locked up in the prison where Herod had put him, he went on preaching Christ by means of his disciples' mediation (Mt 11:2) for, enclosed as he was in his mother's womb, he already proclaimed the Lord's coming with his bounds.

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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