|Salome with the Head of the Baptist by Caravaggio (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons).|
The title of this post is a quote from the third chapter of Wisdom, and it is fitting that Saint Bede the Venerable used it in his homily of St. John, you can read it in the Office of Readings for the Memorial of the Beheading (or Passion) of John the Baptist. As I was reading through Saint Bede’s homily today this paragraph just stopped me in my tracks.
“There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for Him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: “I am the truth”? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.”
Things have not changed have they?! Usually we are not asked to outright deny Christ, we are simply expected to be quiet about Him. However, do not be surprised if our silent compliance leads to the demand to deny Our Lord explicitly. Which makes today a good day to ask for the intercession of Saint John the Baptist, for the wisdom to know when to speak, and the courage to follow through. The concluding prayer for this powerful Memorial is:
O God, who wills that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession of what you teach. Through our Lord Jesus Christ your son, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
I pray that all of us grow in the courage to place our hope in the immortal Truth, who is Christ.
Heidi blogs at Journey to Wisdom.