Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lord, let me never fear the consequences of speaking the truth
Lord, I believe in your wondrous shining glory, although this
is hidden from my eyes. I hope in the peace and everlasting joy of the world to come, for this world
is a valley of tears. I love you, even though I am not always able to discern the love in your
intentions when you permit me to suffer. You are my God and my all.
let me never fear the consequences of speaking the truth.
1. Speaking Truth to
Although Herod was a cruel tyrant, John the Baptist did not hesitate to condemn his
adulterous conduct and to denounce his sin publicly. John was moved by the Holy Spirit to give
witness and teach the people that no one can legitimately violate God's commandments, not even
a king. John did not fear the consequences of his actions, because he knew that if he were faithful,
God would be at his side and never let him down, even if he had to suffer on account of the truth.
We, too, need to give courageous witness to our family, friends and to the society at large. When we
do, God will be with us and we will have nothing to fear.
2. It Was Something That You
Mark tells us that Herod, although he resented what John said in accusing him of
adultery, nonetheless "like[d] to listen to him," and he was "much perplexed." In his moral
weakness, he persisted in his sin, yet the cries of the prophet to repent did reach his conscience.
Herod was in confusion. Something was stirring in his conscience; the Holy Spirit was moving inside
him to bring him to true repentance for his sin. God never abandons the sinner, but gives him grace
to turn back to him. We should never lose hope for one who seems to be lost and wandering in sin. We
should always continue to speak the truth with love and pray for a full conversion. God can change
the heart of even the worst of sinners. He has forgiven us so much, and he can forgive others as
3. A Conversion Cut Short:
The Gospel tells how Herod, in an imprudent
promise to Herodias´daughter, found himself compromised and, for fear of losing face, had to order
the beheading of John the Baptist. Here his moral weakness overcame the first stirrings of the grace
of conversion. He closed his heart to God's action due to his lust and vanity, and he committed the
terrible crime of murder of an innocent man. How sin can darken the conscience and extinguish God's
grace in the heart of a person given over only to satisfying their passions.
Lord, I want to be faithful to your teachings and to be frank with those I love
who need to hear your word. I know that takes prudence, courage and steadfastness. Help me to be
true to you. Give me the grace of a good conscience always to speak the truth with rectitude and
love for your law.
I will pray for the grace to witness to the truth,
"in season and out of season," no matter what the consequences.