Tuesday of the 21st week in ordinary time year A

1 Thes. 2:1-8      Mark 6: 17-29

Theme: The truth is eternal

Today we celebrate the memorial of the death of John the Baptist. The forerunner of Jesus Christ, who prepared the way for the coming of Christ. In the gospel reading of today, we are told about how he lost his life because of his uprightness and the fact that he had to speak the truth and stand against the evil action of king Herod. He could not stand the injustice that was done to Philip by king Herod, by taking his wife Herodias, so he spoke out and was put in prison by the king.

Unfortunately, the wife of Philip Herodias was comfortable with the fact that Herod took her from Philip and was desperate to take John the Baptist out of the way. The fear of king Herod made it difficult for others to speak up, but not John the Baptist. He was courageous and told Herod the truth he didn’t want to hear from anyone. Most times, we are not open to accepting the truth about ourselves, instead we begin to fight the source of our mistake. Instead of accepting our mistakes and making amends when necessary.

The story of King Herod not taking responsibility for his action, is our reality today. What some people do not know is the fact that the truth is eternal, it is only a matter of time, and it will be clear for people to see. There is no need to lie or fight the source of the truth about your failing that stares you in the face, because you feel you have the power to do whatever you like. Over time you will realize that there is somebody greater than all of us who knows the truth that you are trying so hard to hide from everyone else. Let us be slow in condemning King Herod because some of us have done similar things in our lives and in the process lied and hurt other people. Always remember, no one struggles to defend the truth unlike when you lie, the truth will always speak for itself at the right time.

Desperation because of our selfish reasons has led some of us astray, just like Herodias. She wanted to enjoy a better life with King Herod and was ready to do anything to remain with him, even to the point of taking a man’s life. She believes that if she silences John she will be at peace and begin to enjoy her life, because there will be nobody else to speak against what they have done. Unfortunately for her, that was the beginning of her problems, and she ended up very badly. Let us be mindful of the fact that none of us will live on earth forever. What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his or her soul? May the Lord bless his words in our hearts, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

The Passion of St. John the Baptist, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp