Homily for Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: Sacrifice of Faith
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Saturday August 1 2020
Memorial of St. Alphonsus Mary De Liguori
In today’s Gospel we have the story of the beheading of John the Baptist. It was recounted because Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist resurrected. It was a heartbreaking story that the life of the precursor, the cousin of Jesus, and a prophet was taken as a reward to a beautiful dance of a girl. John died proclaiming the Good News and living to his role of preparing everyone for the coming of Jesus. He could have done more but the plan of God for him ends right there.
John, as it turned out, was not only a precursor for Jesus but also a reminder to us all of the fate of a faithful Christian. The violence against Christians had not stopped. Recently, many Christians were beheaded and a priest suffered the same while celebrating mass in Normandy, France. Just like Hernias, the wife of Herod, they believed that by killing Christians, the mission will stop. On the contrary, if they know history, the more will the faith be proclaimed. Christians are also willing to die for the faith. Martyrs abound in the Christian faith.
So, are you willing to die for the faith? Actually, that opportunity is rare. Also, Christians see it as grace. Yes, dying for the faith is a grace from God which we must embrace everyday. There are a lot of ways to die. Depriving oneself of a lot of things is a kind of dying. When we discipline ourselves in order to empty our hearts for the Lord entails a lot of sacrifice. But dying for the faith may come. When that happens, God will give us the graces to face it and go through it.
We need to prepare for that moment. We also need to pray for those people who had been to that situation. And we need to pray harder for people who are presently going through it. It can be a violent world. But we cannot be lured to become one. Our Lord is the Prince of Peace.
We aim for peace through peaceful means and not by any other.