HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.
THEME: SPIRIT OF COURAGE.
BY: FR GERALD M. MUSA.
It is easier to flatter powerful people than to tell them some hard truths. Even when things are going in the wrong direction in society, we lack the courage to stand up and speak out. In Nigerian movies it is common to hear hard truths come out only from the lips of the mentally ill, drunkards, or even comedians who cannot be held accountable for their speech.
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John the Baptist spoke the truth fearlessly to King Herod. He denounced the injustice of the king who seized and married his brother’s wife. John knew his role and mission as a prophet was to challenge and affict the powerful and comfortable who had lost their humanity, sensitivity, and ethical values. Herod loved to listen to John but his illegitimate wife Herodias hated John. She demanded the head of John the Baptist through her daughter. Herod could not resist her wicked and vindictive demand. John was killed for speaking the truth bravely. An Afirican proverb says, “A brave man dies once, a coward a thousand times.”
Having killed John, Herod heard about Jesus and wondered if it was John the Baptist who came back to life. Evidently, he was haunted, tormented, and afraid of his past as guilty conscience overshadowed him. “The evil thatmen do lives after them,” says Marc Anthony in Shakespeare’s book, Julius Caesar. Can we stand and speak out with the same courage and conviction as John the Baptist?
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I. (1)
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