As we celebrate the Memorial of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, let us recall that for us as Christians, death is a positive option; particularly death by martyrdom for Jesus Christ. We are meant to understand martyrdom, even if it were to be accompanied by torture, as a mark of preferential love for us from God our Father, the chance to live out the meaning of our Baptism to the full. Thus, if we should ever find ourselves about to be martyred, our reaction ought not be “Oh no! Why me!”, but rather “Yes!” with rejoicing to realize that God loves us so much as to invite us to give our life for Christ and receive a greater share of His glory in heaven. To prepare ourselves to correspond with God’s grace, let us pray for greater fortitude, the virtue by which we confront the greatest obstacles and endure the greatest sufferings on behalf of the faith, the virtue with which St. John the Baptist was filled. May it enable us to stand strong in the face of death, believing like St. Paul “that the sufferings of this present life are not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18).