The WORD in Other Words by Fr Allan Meechan SVD (Philippines) for Saturday 17th Week in Ordinary Time
Canon Torley was a very old, frail, quiet and gentle man. I was told that he had been in prison when he was a young priest. Strictly observing the seal of confession, he was imprisoned on account of his unwillingness to reveal the identity of a murder suspect who had confessed to him at a time of unrest between native Catholics and Protestant settlers in Ireland. After his release he was much abused by anti-catholic elements.
Fr Torley had to suffer like John for following the Lord rather than the wishes of other people. But, like John, he showed the steadfastness of one who was truly a committed servant of God, and he continued to serve as a priest until he died.
Herod seems to be haunted by what he did to John – for him Jesus was the formal expression of the voice of his own conscience. John would be a mute reproach to Herod for the rest of his life. This can hold true for all committed Christians who, like Canon Torley, follow Jesus rather than the easy way. They also stand as a reproach to others. At the same time, of course, every one of us, no matter how committed we are to Christ, stands constantly haunted and reproached by the exemplary lives of other Christians and by our own individual sins and failings.
Source – Bible Diary 2020