Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings


John the Baptist’s fate is one of tragedy that stemmed from envy and anger. Herod had married the wife of his dead brother. He did this wrongly, and John called him on it. Herodias, his former sister-in-law turned wife, heard this criticism and “harbored a grudge” against John. Eventually, she prevailed upon Herod to kill John. Herod, in his pride, had promised his stepdaughter anything she could want, and he couldn’t take back his promise which he made in hubris.

This Gospel story corresponds to our own secular age in significant ways. Western nations that used to be culturally Christian are now highly secular. John the Baptist demonstrates the need for giving witness to Christian truth in a society that doesn’t support it. John witnessed the truth to Herod and Herodias. He preached the truth even when they wanted his head “on a platter.” His disciples carried on his mission after his death, and Jesus Himself called John the Baptist the greatest prophet to be born. We are called to be prophetic in our Catholic faith. We carry on the mission as John’s disciples did. The greatest witness we give is by the authenticity of our lives. Amen.

Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB

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