Acknowledge Your Sins and Proclaim the Truth
Gospel Reflection for August 29, 2022
“Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’ Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.” (Mark 6:17-20 NABRE)
We are compelled by today’s Gospel to ask ourselves two very important questions. The first question is, am I a witness to the truth? John the Baptist did not let anything or anyone hinder him from proclaiming the truth. He didn’t even let fear of losing his life stop him from preaching the Kingdom’s coming and from preparing the way of the Lord.
John didn’t regard, nor fear, the opinions or power of man as he did the work of the Lord. As the saying goes, John “told it like it is.” Do we, too, proclaim the truth as it is? Or do we filter the truth and water it down depending on who we are talking to, because we fear what others might think? Like John, we must set our eyes on God and eagerly proclaim the truth everywhere and always.
The second question we must ask ourselves is, do I accept constructive and honest criticism? Herod liked listening to John the Baptist. However, when John spoke out against his marriage, Herod refused to acknowledge his wrongs. In contrast to John, Herod worried not about pleasing the Lord, but about appearances and impressing others. For example, Herod only wished to keep John in custody, yet, when his daughter asked for John’s head, “the king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her.” (Mark 6:26)
Herod worried more about what others would think, then about doing what was right. Do we, too, sometimes bend our morals in order to please others? Like Herod, do we ever refuse to accept correction from the Lord? Do we know we’ve done something wrong, but fail to amend our lives?
Lord Jesus, please always help us to humbly acknowledge our faults and sins, to repent, and to turn our lives back to You. Help us to follow John’s example by always and unwaveringly proclaiming the truth to others.