Conscience vs. Reputation (Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist)

Have you ever feared to do the right thing, or bear witness to your faith, because you were concerned about what others might do or say? I would imagine that most of us have; it’s something of a universal struggle. Teens struggle with peer pressure about sex and drugs. Workers weigh the pros and cons about resisting a corrupt or unethical corporate culture. Public figures bow to opinion polls. Christians keep their faith under wraps, lest they be labeled a “holy roller.” It’s all a matter of our conscience, versus our reputation.

King Herod was a case in point. He knew that the right thing to do was to set John the Baptist free. But he was afraid of what his guests might think. So against his better judgment, he delivered John to death. For his part, John could not have been a greater contrast to King Herod. As a true prophet of God, he spoke the hard truth. And he paid a hard price. All because he made a hard choice to be faithful to his Lord and true to his conscience.

John’s witness is an inspiration to us to be courageous in always choosing to do the right thing. Sure, in some people’s eye’s we’ll look like a fool; but in God’s eyes, we’ll look like a saint.

Readings for today’s Mass:

Image Credit: via Wikipedia Commons