Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12
While we often hold the virtues of courage and truth in esteem, here we see with John the Baptist the all-too-real consequence for doing so. Regardless of the cost, John feels called to speak the truth of the need for repentance to the perceived righteous and sinful alike. Most notably to Herod who, in seeking personal gain and trying to please Rome, had sought absolute power and abandoned truth and morality altogether. John stood as an embodiment of everything that Herod was not and the corrupt system he had built.
Further, Herod having not divorced his own wife, had then entered an adulterous relationship with his brother Phillip’s wife. Thus, as John’s influence in the community surged, Herod’s fear of a rebellion also grew leading to John’s imprisonment. Already spurred, it didn’t take much - just a dance by Salome - for Herod to promise and commit John’s head on a platter. And still John, like so many countless saints after him, was not alone in facing torture, imprisonment and even death for the faith.
As followers of Christ, we cannot deny the indelible link between truth and courage in even the smallest of day-to-day decisions. For our children, we pray too that they see that each truth or lie builds on the other and courage is choosing to do or say the right thing in the face of rejection. Whether it be the decision to stand up for someone being bullied, or to report the showing of inappropriate material on the bus, there is a both a choice and a cost. A choice worth making and a cost worth taking in a world where truth and life are at stake.
Do I have the courage today to seek and speak the truth to opinions and decisions, even within my own life?
Lord, may I have the courage to speak the truth in the face of rejection, the willingness to follow Jesus over the will of the world and a desire to make a difference. May the change that's needed begin with me.
Copyright 2021 Elizabeth Reardon
About the Author
Elizabeth Reardon is Director of Parish Ministries and Pastoral Associate for the Collaborative Parishes of Resurrection & St. Paul in Hingham, Massachusetts; a wife and mother of three, and writer at TheologyIsAVerb.com. Her writing is an invitation to seek and create space for God in the midst of the busyness of everyday life.