Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Sirach 47:2-11; Mark 6:14-29)
The Gospel of Luke pictures John the Baptist and Jesus related by blood. At least, their mothers are said to be kinswomen. Today’s gospel passage from Mark has the two related in another way. It describes John’ capricious execution as anticipating Jesus’ death on a cross.
John like Jesus after him is not afraid of speaking truth to power. He tells Herod that it was wrong for him to marry his brother’s wife. The judgment does not rile Herod as much as his wife Herodias. She manipulates a situation to have John beheaded. Being questioned by the high priest at his trial, Jesus will tell him that he is the Son of God. His statement incurs the judgment that he must die.
It can be costly to speak truth. But it is not as costly as telling lies. Although lies may save us some trouble, they come back to haunt us. More importantly, they also betray our Lord and Savior. Jesus’ telling and living the truth about God, his father, ended in the cross. It brought about his glory and our salvation.