Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Today the Church commemorates the beheading of John the Baptist.
The courage and the firmness with which John the Baptist communicated the truth are praiseworthy. It was not necessary for John to confront Herod on what he had done; it would have been enough that he just remained silent. But his call to bear witness to the Truth did not allow him to do that. He was committed to the truth at the cost of his life.
Standing for the values and speaking the truth under all circumstances, as all of us know, are the ideals to be followed. But when it comes to concrete life situations, only our conscience can bear witness to who we really are. The example of John the Baptist stands as a prototype for us to imitate.
It is always interesting to know the driving force behind this courage: John was both clear and convinced of his call. He was consciously aware that he had to be the forerunner of the Messiah who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” The witness of the Truth cannot be silent but speak the truth. This clarity and conviction are necessary for each of us to pay the cost truth demands from us – if we desire to imitate the hero of the day. Are we clear on our call? Are we convinced of our call? Are we ready to pay the cost truth demands from us?
Let the words of our loving God given in the first reading become a source of strength for us in this journey: “They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.” (Jer 1:19). Whom to fear, when He is near?