Monday, August 29, 2011

Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace

"When one is convinced that his cause is just, he will fear nothing." - St John Bosco

Gospel text (Mc 6,17-29):
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Today is the memorial of the martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist. This event has captured the imagination of many artists who have portrayed aspects of this story on canvas. Herod’s folly at the hands of his clever and vindictive wife and her conspiring daughter presents a tragic story that resonates with us on many levels.

In our current society we need in the worst way people like John the Baptizer (see Mk 6:17ff). We need courageous men and women who will speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and stand up for purity. We need mature Christians, not "infants in Christ" (1 Cor 3:1) who are "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error" (Eph 4:14).

John called a sin a sin, a lie a lie, and adultery adultery. In a permissive, promiscuous society, where prime time TV is prime porn, it is not fashionable to speak of purity and sexual sin. If Grandma saw what is going on now, even in Christian circles, she wouldn't believe it.

Life is very challenging. The Lord has an astounding plan for your life. Take his hand and trust in him. The peace and joy you will feel as a result will be all the answers you need to confirm your “choice”.

Take the step...........

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