They martyrdom of John the Baptist (memorial)

Theme: The price of discipleship

Today the church celebrates the memorial of the death of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He gave his life for the truth, because he had to tell King Herod that it was wrong for him to have collected the wife of his brother Philip. Herodias was not comfortable with the action of John and finally got the opportunity when her daughter danced and King Herod asked her to make a request and after consulting with her mother, she requested for the head of John the Baptist on a platter; and it was delivered to her. This was how John the Baptist faced martyrdom because he could not stomach their evil and decided to correct their evil act.

The action of King Herod and the wife is very evil and also unchristian. They were angry because the prophet confronted them with the truth about their evil action. This brings me to a very important question before we begin to point accusing finger at King Herod and his wife Herodias, how many of us are positively disposed to accept the truth about ourselves that is not positive? How will you respond to a situation about yourself that exposes your evil act, do you accept it with an open heart and work towards correcting your action or you begin to fight the person who confronted you with the truth about yourself? Often times many of us are not positively disposed towards accepting the truth about ourselves, rather we begin to fight the person just like King Herod and his wife did against John the Baptist. However, if we must grow, we must learn to be slow in acting when we are confronted with the truth about ourselves, instead of picking offense and fighting the person who has done it.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, it is better for us to reflect on whatever it is that we have done and make an informed judgement that will help us to become a better person, instead of just getting angry and fighting the person who has presented us with this truth about ourselves. Always remember that we are all capable of making mistakes and we are not perfect being, with humility we can use it as an opportunity for us to retrace our steps and become better persons and followers of Christ. The truth about ourselves should not be accepted negatively, but be seen as an opportunity for growth. May almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.


Memorial of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp