If John the Baptist was decapitated for witnessing to marriage, must we not be politically incorrect with him?

martyrdom of saint john the baptist

All the hints that we have in the Gospels reveal that, back in the day, pretty much no one except John, and then Jesus, was preaching about the sanctity of marriage. Everyone was busy misinterpreting Moses’ permission to write a bill of divorce, conveniently forgetting the bit about “because of their hardness of heart.” That comment of Jesus means that what Moses actually said with his permission as they bothered him non-stop, harassing him for permission was this:

“Sure, go ahead, write your little damned bill of divorce! Use it! See if I care you hard hearted haters of God and neighbor! No, really! Go to hell, too!”

Peter was lost in admiratio about this. He just couldn’t get over it. He protested. “Lord, if it’s really that way then it’s better not to get married!”

Amazement and incredulity haven’t changed much. It’s all mushy interpretation of Moses’ “permission.” But Jesus says, “From the beginning it was not so.”

Here’s the deal: John pointed to the marriage of Jesus with His Bride the Church, pointed to wedding vows of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. People hated John for that. It would be Jesus’ turn very soon. It was right after the beheading that we have the multiplication of the loaves.

All of this is all about Jesus. We forget Him. Why is that? Do we hate Him? Without grace, we do hate Jesus. I know, for one, that I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God with my sin, original sin and whatever other rubbish I’ve ever done in my own life. If we don’t admit we’ve all done that, we are not with Jesus, but actively against Him, hating Him, and looking to kill off in whatever way those who would, as John, speak of proper marriage.

padre pio ecce agnus dei

“Ecce Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi…”

I have to wonder how many priests, when they hold up the Lamb of God, know that they are saying the words of Saint John about the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world by laying down His own life, being wedded to His Bride the Church. If more understood this, I think there would be less problems with marriage today. Priests have to understand that they themselves are married to the Church by the Sacrifice they offer, saying the wedding vows of Jesus in the first person singular: This is my body given for you in sacrifice… my blood poured out for you in sacrifice…


Filed under Amoris laetitia, Marriage, Priesthood, Vocations

5 responses to “If John the Baptist was decapitated for witnessing to marriage, must we not be politically incorrect with him?

  1. sanfelipe007

    I’ll be honest. My Spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak sometimes. would that I had that fire in my heart to fearlessly condemn sin! I wonder if Jonah thought that he had “asked” The Lord for that mission, and then balked at it?

    I sometimes think about asking The Lord for the courage of John the Baptist, to correct the great sinful situations in the lives of some of my siblings, but I always stop short of actually asking. I don’t want that mission. Of course my failure is rooted in my fear of sinful man’s opinion of me. I am working on putting that to death.

    I am happy to follow Jesus until I realize I am not supposed to leave anyone behind, at least not without trying!

  2. And God bless the priests who do preach Truth fearlessly.

  3. Nancyv

    Yes, Father, thank you. I will try out my new introduction in conversations:
    “What I am about to say is about as politically incorrect as John the Baptist!”
    No more excuses, just courage, please God.

  4. Nancyv

    (My previous comment was in no way on the same level as what sanfelipe007 was commenting on – I was speaking for the layperson. I pray for holy priests as faithful spouses in our Lord!)

  5. Jo

    The archdiocese of Washington placed Fr. Marcel Guarnizo on leave for refusing communion to a lesbian lady. Lay and religious are bound by duty to defend God’s Divine Law. Fr. Guarnizo did what priests are mandated to do and that is to preach the Word of God for the salvation of souls. If priests are derelict in their duties they will go to hell for the sins of those whom they were to counsel correctly. God help the bishop who did not defend his priest for his courageous action.

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