GREATER DOUBLE / RED
To our short vision, the beheading of St. John the Baptist to satisfy the rancor of a wicked woman appears as a painfully ignominious death for the "friend of the heavenly bridegroom." Yet never was the burning and the shinning light (John 5:35) of the Precursor's lamp more radiant than at this moment, when it was absorbed within the abyss of light that is the Godhead. Because John's role in the economy of redemption was so vital, the Church has made room for him in her glowing firmament of saints next to the Mother of God herself. Today, as long ago on the banks of the Jordan, John leads us to the fount of apostolic zeal -- the divine simplicity of loving only Christ, and all men in and for Him.
INTROIT Ps. 118:46-47
I spoke of Your testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed; I meditated on Your commandments, which I loved dearly.
Ps. 91:2. It is good to praise the Lord, and to sing to Your name, O Most High!
V. Glory be . . .
May the holy festival of Thy Forerunner and Martyr, St. John the Baptist, we beseech Thee, O Lord, afford us help unto salvation; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
Commemoration of SAINT SABINA, MARTYR
St. Sabina, who gave her name to the famous old church which is now Dominican world headquarters, was probably martyred during the second century.
O God, one of the marvelous examples of Your power was granting the victory of martyrdom even to delicate womanhood. May the example of the blessed martyr Sabina, whose birthday we celebrate today, draw us closer to You. Through our Lord . . .
LESSON Jer. 1:17-19
In those days, the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee. Be not afraid at their presence: for I will make thee not to fear their countenance. For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof, and to the priests, and to the people of the land. And they shall fight against them, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee," saith the Lord, "to deliver thee."
GRADUAL Ps. 91:13, 14, 3
The just man shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow up like a cedar of Lebanon in the house of the Lord.
V. That he may show forth Your mercy in the morning and Your truth throughout the night.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Osee 14:6
The just man shall blossom as the lily, and shall flourish forever before the Lord. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Mark 6:17-29
At that time, Herod himself had sent and apprehended John, and bound him prison for the sake of Herodias the wife of Philip his brother, because he had married her. For John said to Herod: "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife." Now Herodias laid snares for him: and was desirous to put him to death and could not. 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. And when a convenient day was come, Herod made a supper for his birthday, for the princes, and tribunes, and chief men of Galilee. 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." And he swore to her: "Whatsoever thou shalt ask I will give thee, though it be the half of my kingdom." Who when she was gone out, said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" But her mother said: "The head of John the Baptist." 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." 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: But sending an executioner, he commanded that his head should be brought in a dish. And he beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a dish: and gave to the damsel, and the damsel gave it her mother. Which his disciples hearing came, and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 20:2-3
O Lord, the just man rejoices in Your strength, and he greatly exalts in Your aid. You have granted him his heart's desire.
O Lord, may the gifts we offer You in memory of the sufferings of Your holy martyr John the Baptist bring us closer to salvation through his prayers. through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT SABINA
O Lord, graciously accept the gifts we offer You in honor of Your blessed martyr Sabina and help us find in them unending assistance. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 20:4
O Lord, You have placed on his head a crown of precious stones.
O Lord, may the feast of blessed John the Baptist teach us to reverence the deep significance of the Holy Eucharist which we have received, and to be filled with joy at the fulfillment of this promise in ourselves. Through our Lord . . .
Commemoration of SAINT SABINA
We have been nourished by Your divine gift, O Lord our God. May the reception of this Bread of Heaven bring us eternal life through the intercession of Your blessed martyr Sabina. Through our Lord . . .