FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
FEBRUARY 3, 2023
Fourth FRIDAY of Ordinary Time
WORD of the DAY
Herodias had an
opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his
courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. His own
daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The
king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. (Mark 6: 14-29)
“How shall I live this Word?
That of John the Baptist is a case that is regularly repeated in history. Anyone who loudly claims a reality that annoys the system is frequently eliminated. The political systems that try to make all those who, such as journalists, missionaries, doctors, politicians use the Baptist’s method of denunciation, are still very current. Furthermore, it should also be noted that slimy method of elimination which is the “media pillory”, which throws mud on a person, so that he is defamed and excluded from public opinion. At this point, one would be tempted to promptly mind one’s business, however, this form of apparent discretion and confidentiality configures a clearly conspiratorial attitude, a mode favored by perverse forms of association such as the mafia. Having his head cut off certainly did not excite poor John the Baptist, yet there are moments in which he is urged to take a stand and choose whether to live in compromise or die honestly. When the day comes when we cannot be silent, we must shout out with all of ourselves what we know to be right and authentic. Our voice, like John’s, will cry out the truth and certainly all those who cannot stand the light of that truth will despise it. The way of the Baptist, in fact, is a way where loneliness is often experienced but God will never leave us completely alone. Let us ask Him for the strength to remain with Him and the courage to overcome all fear in His love.
Hear, O Father, the people who invoke you: may the intercession of the martyr San Biagio obtain from You peace and health in the present time and help to reach the joy of eternal goods.
The Voice of Blessed Pino Puglisi, Theologian
Those who reflect too much before taking a step, pass their life on only one foot.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Fr. Maurizio Lollobrigida, SDB