HOMILY, SATURDAY, 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
THE BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST [MEMORIAL]
1 Cor 1:26-31, Mark 6:17-29.
Death is sweet for those whose life mission is accomplished. People who are fulfilled in life embrace death as a welcomed guest. We shy away from death when we feel that our life is laden with unfinished businesses. Those who died a painful death without achieving their purpose in life are nothing but complete failure.
The birth of John the Baptist and his beheading are two topics of great concern. His beheading has nothing to do with the purpose of his coming into the world. The manner of his death is simply one of the accidents that occurred while achieving one of the probable purposes of his life on earth.
Absolutely and primarily, John came to herald the coming of Christ. He has achieved his purpose in life. The wickedness of Herodias, the foolishness of her daughter and the “over do” of Herod, did not diminish John’s person and mission. His death was insignificant when compared to his role in the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. He had made known the Messiah and he has accomplished his mission.
As we salute his courage to speak the truth to power, we encourage ourselves and others; let us pray that we gain the proper knowledge of our mission on earth. Jesus preserved himself for the great day of crucifixion. He hid himself when necessary. He sought his Father’s consent on the mountain of transfiguration, all in the bid to be sure whether the time of his death was ripe or not. And when the time came to accomplish his mission, he changed his style and embraced the cross with bravery. On our part, we need divine wisdom to guide our steps to our life purpose.
John’s painful death was a leap into glory.
May the Lord guide our steps to our life purpose. May we live a fulfilled life. May our pain turn to gain and our suffering into joy. Amen.