The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Samuel Clarin, SVD (HNU, Tagbilaran City, Bohol)
Friday 4th Week in Ordinary Time
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes: The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Extra-judicial killings. Suicide incidents. Teenage pregnancies. Rampant illegal drug trade. Terrorism….and many more.
What is going on? What is happening to our society, to our country, a predominantly Christian country in Asia? Is our country becoming godless?
What happened to John the Baptist years ago seems to be happening until now. What King Herod did centuries years ago keeps recurring until the present.
Two different responses to the situation of that time can be gleaned from today’s gospel.
First, John lived simple and honest life – an austere life of solitude and truth as his way of responding to God’s call as a prophet and forerunner of Jesus. He was not afraid to speak the truth, boldly confronting Herod of his immorality.
Second, Herod lived a life of pride and self-centeredness, seeking the praise of people rather than God’s.
Today’s gospel challenges us to look up to the example of John the Baptist and imitate his response. It challenges to be bold and fearless, to stand up for what is right, and to bear witness to the truth who is Jesus, THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE.