The WORD in other words (2016) by Fr. Felmar Castrodes-Fiel, SVD (DYRF-Cebu)
Memorial of the Martyrdom / Beheading of St John the Baptist, August 29
Image source: wikimedia commons / The beheading of Saint John the Baptist (Mark 6: 22-29) by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640 )
A priest told his parishioners he would give all Catholics a manna from heaven! All stood to declare themselves as Catholics. The priest asked: “If terrorists come and threaten to kill all Catholics, what will you do?” His parishioners replied in a chorus: “Father, we will tell them that you are a Catholic!”
Today, we commemorate the death of John the Baptist. He stood up his ground and bravely told the truth to Herod: “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” What can we learn from the life of Herod in relation to John?
Herod listened but he did not obey. He was aware that John was a “righteous and holy man” and “he liked to listen to him.” However, he had to honor his words and grant the young woman her request, despite recognizing was a bad choice. Herod considered other’s opinion rather than valued God’s word.
Herod can also happen to us. We attend masses but fall short in showing mercy and compassion; we memorize the Ten Commandments and know the Beatitudes and yet still practice corruption in different forms.
Herod was scared to act differently – that of accepting Christ – because he might lose credibility among his valued friends. When we go away from the needs of our flesh and seek the face of the most High, we are most bothered by our separation from our comfort zone. But when we grow from this challenge, we come into oneness with Christ.