Wednesday: 29 August, 2012 –– 21st Week in Ordinary Time
The Passion of St. John the Baptist
I’ve “borrowed” this from my friend, John Michael Talbot. It was on his Facebook page this morning and I edited it a bit for today’s homily.
John the Baptist lost his head, not because he bore witness to Jesus, but because he spoke out against the sexual perversity of a politician, Herod, who had married his brother's ex-wife. Some would say it was unwise, or none of his business, or outside of his purview, but Scripture holds him up to us as the greatest prophet of the entire Jewish era.
We also speak out on societal issues that the world does not understand as being “religious”. Catholic teaching speaks not only about religious faith, but morality. Therefore the Church speaks to the cultures in which she finds herself.
Today we speak out on a wide range of issues: from pro-life to global poverty, from the right to natural birth to the right to natural death, from the right to education and employment to healthcare. The list is long, and all interrelated in one golden chain of the gospel of life in Christ.
Speaking out may cost us much. It might cost us social acceptance. It might cost us jobs. It might cost us our financial wealth or our freedom. It might even cost us our life. Cardinal George of Chicago has said, "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square". I sincerely pray that he is wrong!
Today, John the Baptist reminds us that faithfulness to God extends into the public arena. Christian faith has political implications (and repercussions).