Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Readings;1 THES 3:7-13, Mark 6:17-29
We know this story of the terrible end to the life of the great prophetic voice of John the Baptist. It was Herod, who in a drunken and boastful promise to show off before his friends, was caught by his own pride in carrying out this execution of John.
The pressure to “fit in” with the predominant culture around us is very strong. It is not easy or simple to live the gospel values today. It can be difficult to hold onto a consistent ethic of life, which holds sacred the dignity of every human life, in the face of deep bigotry, racism, and even nationalism. But the way of Jesus has always been our way. Developing an intimate relationship with Jesus draws us closer to him, especially to his way. The closer I grow in affection with Jesus, the better I get at knowing the answer to the question, “What would Jesus do?” The close I grow in affection with him, the easier it is to instinctively know that the way I’ve been relating with the people closest to me isn’t working out to be the way of Jesus.
Public witness to our faith in a culture that is not in harmony with our faith. To stand in solidarity with those who are the most rejected and marginalized in our culture, to work hard to act against the many ways we are hurting our planet and all those who are the first and worst to suffer, to act publicly and try to witness to a life of mercy and compassion.