Psalm 27:1, 3, 5, 8-9
John the Baptizer is a prominent figure in the readings of the Advent Season. Here he is again as we approach the Lenten Season.
The passage today recounts the grisly death of John at the whim of a half-drunken man. Just as John was forerunner at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, so now the tragic ending of John prepares us for the fate of Jesus. The lives of John and Jesus are remarkably parallel. Both were hailed as prophets, speciously charged, half-heartedly convicted, buried by their disciples, allegedly raised from the dead.
To what extent do I want my life to parallel the lives of John and Jesus? Am I willing to stand up and be counted as Christian? Am I willing to live with misunderstanding and to attempt to get beyond the seeming triumph of evil? Am I willing to accept the fact of mystery in my life?
All of the above are just some of the challenges presented to us as Christians. John and Jesus met their challenges through faith, a lively confidence in the presence and working of God in their lives. Faith can only be operative when we are willing to turn it over, when we “let go and let God.” The writer in our first reading expresses it well:
I will not be afraid;
What can anyone do to me?”
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