Jeremiah and John the Baptist in today’s readings have a lot in common: they’re both prophets, and they’re both surrounded by people who do not like what they have to say, yet are hesitant about doing something about it because they sense deep down that it is the truth.
Jeremiah convinced the people and the princes that he was innocent and sent by the Lord. The priests and prophets did not agree, but they respected or feared the people. Herod was afraid of the people too, because he knew they considered John the Baptist a prophet. Everyone would have been happy if both prophets had kept their mouths shut, but they needed the truth, whether they accepted it or not. We know what happened to John in the end; Jeremiah was eventually taken by force into Egypt with the remnants of Judah and it’s not know clearly how he died.
Are you willing to stick your neck out for the truth? To save another from himself? Let’s not be shy about being counter-cultural for the sake of the Gospel.
Readings: Jeremiah 26:11–16, 24; Psalm 69:15–16, 30–31, 33–34; Matthew 14:1–12. See also 4th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, Passion of St. John the Baptist, 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday, and 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday.