First Reading: 2 Thes. 3:6-10, 16-18
Psalm: Ps. 128:1-2, 4-5
Gospel: Mk. 6:17-29
All Christians know how John the Baptist died. Perhaps we’re not as well informed about how he lived. John died because he lived by religious principles, and because he fearlessly preached God’s law openly, even though his preaching most surely would offend powerful people. John was a true prophet. John pulled no punches and did not withhold criticism simply because the people he was criticizing were rich and powerful. This of course was his undoing.
At our baptism we were anointed prophets. We’re expected therefore to give witness to Christian values. There’s very little chance that we will be asked to put our lives on the line in defense of Christ’s values. Living by and defending Christian values, nonetheless, can be costly. For the businessman it may mean loss of income: he will reject deals which involve corruption. Parents will have to reject career promotions when these will deny them the time they should give to the formation of their children.
We may not be called to die as John the Baptist died. We are called to live as he lived.