Gospel: Mk 6:17-29
When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father, who sees beyond appearances. And your Father, who sees what is kept secret, will reward you.
Do not store up treasures for yourself here, on earth, where moth and rust destroy it; and where thieves can steal it. Store up treasures for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy it, nor thief come and steal it.
For where your treasures is, there, also, will your heart be.
The lamp of the body is the eye; if your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light. If your eyes are diseased, your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate one and love the other; or he will be loyal to the first and look down on the second. You cannot, at the same time, serve God and money.
Therefore, I tell you, not to be worried about food and drink for yourself, or about clothes for your body. Is not life more important than food; and is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, they do not harvest, and do not store food in barns; and yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not less worthy than they are?
Can any of you add a day to your life by worrying about it? Why are you so worried about your clothes? Look at how the flowers in the fields grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, that not even Solomon, in all his glory, was clothed like one of these.
The prophetic mission of Jeremiah and John the Baptist is likewise the mission of every Christian. Basically, the mission of the prophet is to be the “mouthpiece of God,” to proclaim the message he receives from God. He is an instrument of God’s love, mercy and compassion, justice and truth. The mission or ministry of the prophet is not always easy. Prophets often disturb people’s consciences. That is why there are those who are not always disposed to heed the prophetic message. Many times people resist conversion and would go as far as intimidate, persecute or even kill the messenger because their message brings discomfort. Herod and Herodias succeeded in eliminating John the Baptist so that they could continue living in sin. Or so they think. In God’s view of things, it was John who was victorious because of his fidelity to his mission as a prophet.
As prophets in today’s world, it is inevitable that like Jeremiah and John the Baptist we will undergo suffering. We expect to suffer the consequences of proclaiming the inconvenient truth. Many people today who feel uncomfortable with the truth would rather have us remain silent about sin and other moral issues affecting our communities. But we have to remain courageous and steadfast and proclaim the truth without fear or compromise. God is on our side.