Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mark 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.

The life of a prophet is never an easy one. Because they proclaim truth they are hated by those who want to define truth for themselves. They are hated, persecuted, and even killed for speaking with the authority of God.

Prophet is one of the roles we are called to by our baptism into the family of God. We are to always speak in truth, giving glory to God in all that we say and do. Prophets today are no different than the prophets from the bible. They are still hated, still persecuted, still killed for their dedication to our Lord. Even in this land of the free, a country that was founded with religious liberty as a cornerstone, even here people who try to live by God’s command are mocked and persecuted. We are told to abandon our principles and to get with the modern way. We live at a time where people stand together at Mass and proclaim, “I believe…” and then walk out of the sanctuary saying, “But the Church is wrong on…”

We live at a time where over 50% of the Church in this country declares God’s teachings second to lifestyle and political candidate choices. A time where people can rationalize any abomination for themselves.

Holy Scripture is the prophet of our age. It declares the Word of God to us with authority. And like any prophet of old we celebrate it when it supports our beliefs, hate it when it doesn’t, and try to manipulate it and change it to align with our wills. How much longer until the rulers of our time demand to have its head on a platter? How much longer until it is laid in the tomb?

Saint John the Baptist pray for us.

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