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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Do you have the moral strength of John? Are you ready to stand by your God-given morals with conviction and courage when faced with opposition? - Daily Reflections August 1,2015

JOHN THE BAPTIST
 
It was a strange feeling when I entered the ruins of Machaerus on the eastern side of the Dead Sea. It was there that Herod Antipas gave in to the jealousy of Herodias and had John the Baptist decapitated. He had divorced his first wife, seduced Herodias, the wife of his half-brother, and brought her from Rome to Palestine, together with her daughter Salome. John had fearlessly rebuked Herod for the crimes he had committed — divorce and adultery — and had to pay for standing up for the truth.
       As I walked in the hot desert sun around the ruins of Herod’s palace, I admired more and more the moral strength of John. He knew that it was dangerous to rebuke a ruler like Herod, and yet, he spoke out because, as a man of God, he could not compromise God’s morals and laws.
       This made me reflect on our present time. I asked myself whether we still have enough people like John around us, people who are ready to die rather than compromise with our permissive society, which is becoming more and more secularized.
       We have witnessed how politicians and the media attacked the Church when She opposed the Reproductive Health Law. In a certain kebab restaurant in Quezon City, customers are reprimanded when they make the sign of the cross before eating.
       After 30 years in the Philippines, I am still waiting for the time when I could start the Mass with nobody coming late. People, even those with cars, just don’t care; they come any time. What would John the Baptist tell them?
       On October 24, 2013, Pope Francis said during his daily homily:        “Sometimes we say, ‘Christians at half-speed,’ who do not take their faith seriously... A little touch here and there, of Christian paint, a little ‘paint from the catechesis,’ but there is no true conversion inside. There is no conviction like St. Paul’s: ‘Everything I gave up and I consider garbage, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.’” Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you have the moral strength of John? Are you ready to stand by your God-given morals with conviction and courage when faced with opposition?
 
Lord, my faith is weak. Often I compromise instead of standing up for the truth. Send me Your Holy Spirit so that I may become strong like John the Baptist.

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