Homily for Friday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Year II
Theme: You can Never Bury the Truth
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Friday February 7 2020
(Read Sirach 47:2-11, Psalm 18 and Mark 6:14-29)
“But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” ( Mark 6:16)
The saying that truth is bitter comes to play in today’s Gospel passage. The fame of Jesus had now spread all over the place. Many are still in great shock and astonishment as to how this Jesus of Nazareth got the powers that were at work in Him. Many wondered at the level of wisdom that proceeded from His words. The people could not just place a finger on who exactly Jesus is.
Jesus was simply the epitome of perfection. He did everything right. Even the winds and seas obeyed His command. The man possessed by demons who terrorised the region of the Gerasenes was now a great preacher and evangelist courtesy of Jesus’ healing. The little girl who was dead came back to life by the power of Jesus’ words. Simply touching His garment was enough to draw healing power from Him. Jesus was just too much.
Just as a person begins to trend on Twitter getting everyone’s attention, Jesus was the number one trend in Israel. Everyone had something to say about Him. Many believed that for a person to be this powerful, he probably came back to life a second time. While some concluded Jesus is Elijah, some felt He is John the Baptist.
Even Herod concluded in his mind that Jesus is John the Baptist raised to life; Herod wished he could take back the hands of the clock and undo his woeful mistake. Herod had arrested John the Baptist just to hide the truth, he couldn’t stand the truth. Herodias, Philip’s wife hated John the Baptist for preaching the truth. Together with her daughter, she hatched a plan to kill John the Baptist when the opportunity presented itself on Herod’s birthday.
Truth is powerful. No matter how hard we try, we can never silence it. The death of John the Baptist seemed like a victory for Herod, Herodias and her daughter but did it legitimize their adulterous union? Herod had no idea that something greater than John the Baptist would come. You may kill those who tell you the truth, but you can never bury the truth.
How do I react to those who tell me the truth? Am I always willing to accept correction? How do I handle my critics? Very often, we are just like Herod, we gather around ourselves a bunch of sycophants and praise singers. Anyone who tells us the truth, challenges us or criticizes us, we consider him or her to be our enemy. Instead of accepting our faults, we find a way to eliminate such a person.
Ask yourself: What if this person is right? What if all these people praising me are just too afraid to tell me the truth? What if my praise singers are simply seeking for what they can get from me? Be humble enough to accept criticism. You are not always as perfect as your ego makes you believe. Take those who criticise you as your friends simply helping you to grow.
Once upon a time, a man saw his own funeral announcement on television, it was the case of mistaken identity. This man was shocked to hear what people were saying about him. “So, is this what I will be remembered for?” He said to himself. Meanwhile, no one was bold enough to tell him any of these to his face. He decided from that day on to change. He decided to become more charitable with his wealth. His name is Mr Alfred Nobel, the founder of the six Nobel Prizes which continue to run to this day.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me a docile heart to always accept the truth rather than fight my critics. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Friday of the 4th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Sirach 47:2-11, Psalm 18 and Mark 6:14-29).