Martyrdom of John the Baptist Obligatory Memorial
First Reading: First Thessalonians 3: 7-13
7 Therefore we were comforted, brethren, in you, in all our necessity and tribulation, by your faith,
8 Because now we live, if you stand in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we return to God for you, in all the joy wherewith we rejoice for you before our God,
10 Night and day more abundantly praying that we may see your face, and may accomplish those things that are wanting to your faith?
11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And may the Lord multiply you, and make you abound in charity towards one another, and towards all men: as we do also towards you,
13 To confirm your hearts without blame, in holiness, before God and our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 90: 3-5a, 12-13, 14 and 17
3 Turn not man away to be brought low: and thou hast said: Be converted, O ye sons of men.
4 For a thousand years in thy sight are as yesterday, which is past. And as a watch in the night,
5 Things that are counted nothing, shall their years be.
12 Can number thy wrath? So make thy right hand known: and men learned in heart, in wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord, how long? and be entreated in favour of thy servants.
14 We are filled in the morning with thy mercy: and we have rejoiced, and are delighted all our days.
17 And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us: and direct thou the works of our hands over us; yea, the work of our hands do thou direct.
Gospel: Mark 6: 17-29
17 For Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her.
18 For John said to Herod: It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
19 Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death, and could not.
20 For Herod feared John, knowing him to be a just and holy man: and kept him, and when he heard him, did many things: and he heard him willingly.
21 And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee.
22 And when the daughter of the same Herodias had come in, and had danced, and pleased Herod, and them that were at table with him, the king said to the damsel: Ask of me what thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
23 And he swore to her: Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom.
24 Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, What shall I ask? But she said: The head of John the Baptist.
25 And when she was come in immediately with haste to the king, she asked, saying: I will that forthwith thou give me in a dish, the head of John the Baptist.
26 And the king was struck sad. Yet because of his oath, and because of them that were with him at table, he would not displease her:
27 But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish.
28 And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother.
29 Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.