Speaking the truth to power
“Speaking the truth to power” also describes what happens in today’s readings, as Jeremiah challenges people in power in today’s first reading (Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24) and Saint John the Baptist denounces King Herod in today’s Gospel (Matthew 14:1-12).
In both situations, these men of God happen to be speaking against “progressive” activities such as religious experimentation and playing loose with the rules of marriage.
The reality is that we as Christians need to “speak the truth to power” no matter which side of the liberal-conservative line God’s truth may fall on a particular topic in today’s culture and no matter which earthly power we are addressing: the power of government, the power of cultural elites, or the power of the masses.
We need to be prudent, of course, and speak with as much care and skill as we can muster, praying always for the help of God’s grace, so that our words may have maximum effect.
Yet we should also not be naïve about our chances of worldly success. At the end of today’s first reading, Jeremiah wins the support of the people and protection, but he would eventually be kidnapped and murdered. In today’s Gospel, Saint John the Baptist is executed. But being faithful to God’s truth, they would also enjoy eternally the gift of God’s life and love and the world would be better for the truth they had shared.
May you and I always speak the truth of God in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.