Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
It is Papal major basilica & the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome, Italy, from which size it receives the appellation "major." The basilica enshrines the venerated image ofSalus Populi Romani depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary as the health & protectress of the Roman people.'Tis also the festival of Saint Oswald of Northumbria, Martyr (circa 604-642, A.K.A. King Oswald), martyred in battle against the pagan king Penda of Mercia: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Abel of Reims, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (died circa 751): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.
Scripture of the Day
The Book of Leviticus, chapter twenty-five, verses one & eight thru seventeen;
Psalm Sixty-seven, verses two & three, five, & seven & eight;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter fourteen, verses one thru twelve.
Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today's Gospel tells of the death of John the Baptist. Herod had arrested John, from whom Jesus had sought baptism, and put him to death. The arrest and death of John the Baptist were signals for Jesus.Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Jesus immediately after the arrest withdraws to Galilee and then commences his own ministry of preaching and healing. Are these two events just coincidentally related? Hardly. Jesus read the arrest of John as a kind of signal that he was to begin.
We must remember that Jesus, like any Jew of his time, would have read the world through the lens of the Sacred Scriptures. They were the interpretive framework for everything. It was a commonplace of the prophets and the psalms and parts of the Torah that the era of the Messiah would be preceded by a time of tribulation, when the opponents of God would rise up to counter God's purposes.
Jesus saw this in the arrest of John. This great national figure, this prophet to Israel, was arrested and eventually killed by the enemies of God—and he took it as a signal that his own Messianic work should begin.
The Book of Revelation, chapter twenty-one, verses one thru five(a);
The Book of Judith, chapter fifteen, verse nine;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter eleven, verses twenty-seven & twenty-eight.