Saturday, XXI Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint John the Baptist, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 1:26-31; Ps 32; Gos: Mk 6:17-29

Esta breve reflexión fue escrita por el Padre Canice Chukwuemeka Njoku, C.S.Sp. Es un sacerdote católico y  miembro de la Congregación del Espíritu Santo (Espirítanos). Es un misionero en Puerto Rico, la isla del encanto. Es el Canciller de la Diócesis de Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; Párroco de la Parroquia la Resurrección del Señor, Canóvanas, y el Superior Mayor la Congregación del Espíritu Santo (Espirítanos), Circunscripción de Puerto Rico y Republica Dominicana. Para más detalles y comentarios se puede contactarlo alcanice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

Today, the Saturday of the twenty first week of ordinary time, the Church celebrates the memorial of the passion of Saint John the Baptist.

Today’s gospel narrates the events that led to the murder of John the Baptist, the prophet of prophets. Once, I asked my parishioners, what Herodias did with the head of John the Baptist after receiving it.

Only one person attempted it this way: “She dug a hole and buried it.” His guess could be as good as that of any of us.

The truth is that apart from satisfying her evil ego and ventilating her anger, her success as well as her final “trophy” were worthless. This is because, it did not even buy her the peace she needed.

John the Baptist was the victim of corruption and arrogance of an evil government. He was not afraid to speak out when he saw corruption in the land. So, he died for what he preached, for what is just and true.

His life continues to challenge all of us, who have been called to be the light for our society. Unfortunately, at times, we are too afraid to confront evil, because of our excessive instinct for self-preservation.

Indeed, John bore witness both with his words and his life. He gave everything for his mission, and fulfilled those blessed words of Christ: “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 16:25).

He continues to be a light in the dark that no amount of corruption could quench. He continues to be “the voice that cries out in the desert”, that reaches the modern cities of our world, and the most hidden part of the heart humanity.

John the Baptist continues to be the voice that cries out against injustice in the land against the poor and marginalized.

In the midst of all the killings and violence motivated by both structural and systemic injustice and inequality in our world today, God calls us to be the John the Baptist of our time. Remaining silent is not a good option.

Saint John the Baptist, Pray for Us!

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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