Strength In Adversity

Aug 29, 2014 | [post_view] Views

strength in adversity

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

August 29, 2014



First Reading: 1 COR 1:17-25

Responsorial Psalm: PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11

Gospel: MK 6:17-29



Our Gospel today reminds us to have strength in adversity especially in the face of suffering and death.

Today, we are celebrating the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist. He was beheaded on account of Herodias who lived with King Herod even if Herodias was the wife of his brother Philip. Herodias would like to kill him because he was so strong against their unlawful marriage. He renounced this even publicly, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife” addressing this to Herod. Even if John was already in prison, he remained strong in his stance against Herod’s unlawful action. The prison did not stop him. He persisted in his convictions and remained faithful to God. He was not afraid at all of what Herod may do to him so much so that even from the “dungeon” he shouted out his denunciations much louder. At the face of death, he did not retract the truth he proclaimed. He remained steadfast in his faith. He was given strength in adversity.  Beheaded in his prison cell, his death became a much stronger testimony against Herod and Herodias. He was not silenced at all. His death is a loud cry of triumph against any adversity.

What St. John the Baptist showed especially his strength in adversity is very much visible in the lives of many Christians in Iraq. They refused to convert to Islam even in the face of death. They have seen many who were beheaded but they remained strong and steadfast in God. I believe that those who died for the faith are our modern day martyrs. We thank God for them not because of their suffering but because God has given them strength in adversity. God has not abandoned them because they refused to abandon God. Their death is a living testimony of their steadfast faith in God, which other Christians easily neglect and even abandon.

Let us pray that those who are still alive and are suffering whether captured or in hiding may be saved. We pray that they may have the strength of heart to face this adversity.  Let us be one with them in condemning this inhuman attack.  Let us also pray that we too may remain faithful and ardent in our Christian convictions. Let us make our lives a living testimony to the faith that our Iraqi Christian brothers and sisters die for. Let pray for strength in adversity.


Please say “AMEN” below if you care for our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria.


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