Liturgical Colour : Red
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of the Passion of St. John the Baptist, remembering that time when the faithful servant and messenger of God, met his end at the persecution of king Herod and his unlawful wife, Herodias. It was because of his persistent opposition and defiance against the king doing such a wicked act, that he was put to death defending his faith.
But in death, he has shown us the example of what a servant of God should be like. That is a servant of God should not be easily ready to compromise their faith and the mission which God had entrusted them with, in order to accommodate the desires of peoples and even those who are in power. We should be ready to stand up to defend the teachings of our Faith and the ways of our God when it comes to the time when it is necessary for us to do so.
At the same time, we should know that God is always there watching over us, and He will not abandon us to the darkness, and He shall not let us down, just as He has always be there for His faithful servants. God called those whom He had chosen to be His messengers and bearers of the word of truth which He has brought into the world.
The problem that exists with many Christians today, even many among us is that we tend to be silent whenever there are trespasses and sins that our peers committed among us. Many of us are afraid to step in and make comments or trying to remind them of their sins because we are too afraid to damage or ruin our relationships with them. But do we actually realise that if we do nothing, it is actually just the same as us pushing them deep into sin and damnation?
The examples of St. John the Baptist and the last episode of his earthly life, being imprisoned by Herod and Herodias, and how he met his death is a reminder to all of us, that we mankind are feeble creatures easily affected and lured into sin, as shown by Herod and his actions in the Gospel today. As a king, he has access to every worldly needs he wanted, and the beautiful daughter of Herodias mesmerised him so much so as for him to pledge with many vows everything she wanted.
That is the danger which all of us should be wary of, that as Christians we have to learn to resist the impulses of our desires, or else they may cause us to lose control over ourselves, and even lead us into sin and damnation. Herod’s great sin was that he was not only unable to resist the temptation to get Herodias as his wife, even though she was lawfully married to his deceased brother and with a daughter. And he gave in to the temptations of the pleasures of the eyes and the flesh, and resulting in him indirectly causing the death of a great saint of God.
We as Christians should learn to resist these temptations, and thus, at the same time, also help one another to do the same. And at times this will require us to be courageous and be daring, to take the initiative to point out the errors in the way of those whom we see having sinned and committed errors in front of God and His people alike. We do not need to fear about anything, since God Himself is with us in this matter.
And in the end, are we not concerned that any of our brethren are slipping away from God and His grace, and into the slippery slope of sin and temptations, that they are in danger of falling into eternal damnation and suffering? Let us all as Christians be true Christians, true friends and brethren to each other, helping all to find their way to God, and not be afraid to stand up for the truth.
May God help us in all of our endeavours, that we all, inspired by the holy Passion of the Herald of the Messiah, St. John the Baptist, will do all that we can in order to help our brethren in need of salvation and grace of God. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.