FIRST READING      
David praised the Lord God with all his heart and loved God.
A reading from the Book of Sirach (Sirach 47:2-11)

As the fat is selected from the peace offering, so David was selected from the sons of Israel. He played with lions as with young goats, and with bears as with lambs of the flock. In his youth did he not kill a giant, and take away reproach from the people, when he lifted his hand with a stone in the sling and struck down the boasting of Goliath? For he appealed to the Loan, the Most High,  and he gave him strength in his right hand to slay a man mighty in war, to exalt the power of his people. So they glorified him for his ten thousands, and praised him for the blessings of the Lord, when the glorious diadem was bestowed upon him. For he wiped out his enemies on every side, and annihilated his adversaries the Philistines; he crushed their power even to this day. In all that he did he gave thanks to the Holy One, the Most High, with ascriptions of glory; he sang praise with all his heart, and he loved his Maker. He placed singers before the altar, to make sweet melody with their voices. He gave beauty to the feasts, and arranged their times throughout the year, while they praised God’s holy name, and the sanctuary resounded from early morning. The Lord took away his sins, and exalted his power for ever; he gave him the covenant of kings and a throne of glory in Israel.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm I 8:31.47 and 50.51 (R. see 47b)
R/. Blest be the God of my salvation!

As for God, his way is blameless;
the word of the Lord is is pure.
He indeed is the shield
of all who trust in him. R/.

The Lord lives, and blest be my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted.
So I will praise you, Lord,
among the nations; to your name will I sing a psalm. R/.

The LORD gives great victories to his king,
and shows merciful love for his anointed,
for  David and his seed forever. R/.

ALLELUIA   Luke 8:15
Alleluia. Blessed are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast  in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“John, whom I beheaded, has been raised. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 6 : 14-29)

At that time: King Herod heard of Jesus; for his name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head in. He went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
The evil of wrongdoings do not pass with their execution. Their consequences, guilt and sorrow are capable of destroying the perpetuator of the action. Herod, having ordered the execution of John due to political arrogance and blind commitment to an oath, was continually haunted by his guilt. Thus, the growing fame of Jesus was seen by him as the return from the dead of John whose head he had cut off. A lot of people are in bondage with their past sins, and are constantly perturbed by guilt. We need not remain entrapped by past iniquity when the cleansing blood of Christ is present in the sacrament of Reconciliation. God took away David’s sin and gave him a glorious throne. In Christ, you are more than the sin of your past!

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