Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants! (Ps 90:12-13)
We are all called to proclaim the Word of God — both by word of mouth as well as by the manner in which we live our lives. That is the “job” of all Christians, to go out to the whole world and tell the Good News.
We do know that the Good News is not accepted by all. Some simply do not pay attention to it. Others will actively do all that they can to obliterate it, even if it means destroying the messenger who brings it.
Today’s memorial of the death of John the Baptist is a vivid reminder to us that the faith is not gently accepted by all and that we might face oppression if we proclaim it.
Oppression has many faces and takes on many forms. Certainly, one of those forms is death. However, many people do not proclaim the Word of God because of other forms of oppression as well. Some people are ridiculed for their faith. Other people find themselves ostracized from friends or, even, family. Others may find themselves out of a job for professing their faith.
It is the fear of oppression that keeps many people from living their faith and witnessing their faith to the world.
God gives us the grace that we need not to fear.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those whose lives are threatened because they dare to proclaim the Word of God.