A Headless Believer

July 31, 2020
Nang Malasahan Ko ang Langit
August 2, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: A Headless Believer
Our gospel today speaks a lot of us. We may have judged Herod the Tetrarch for not upholding the truth and justice by allowing John the Baptist to be beheaded in order to please people. We hated Herod’s weak personality, but in reality, we see ourselves in his shoes.
Herod was a PEOPLE-PLEASER. He could not afford to live without the praise and honor of everyone. He wanted people to adore him and give him all the good words. In the process, he became a SLAVE OF OTHERS’ OPINION and PERSONAL INTEREST. In the final analysis, he ended up sacrificing higher values such as truth and justice.
On the other hand, the gospel today invites us to become like John the Baptist – a defender and ambassador of justice and truth. He knew at the beginning that denouncing the immoral relationship of Herod and Herodias would mean putting his life into danger. But it did not stop him from publicly denouncing their immoral act. In the end, he extremely displeased Herodias who plotted his gloomy death.
Are we a crowd-pleaser like Herod or a God-pleaser like John the Baptist? With whom do I identify myself more? Which one is more dear to me: the opinion of others or what God will say about me?
John was a person of dignity and integrity. He was indeed a prophet of God ready to fight malicious and immoral acts and ready to uphold truth and justice. The opinions of others were not John’s concern. He was ready to be alone for the sake of justice and truth. To uphold higher values meant a lot to him, and he was willing to sacrifice everything. John was a very strong person. He was beyond the manipulation of others. For Him, to please God was his everything.
On the other hand, Herod was a weak person. The opinions of others and his personal interests meant a lot to him. He was easily manipulated by people. He could easily ignore truth and justice and settle for lower values in order to gain peoples’ admiration. He arrested John for fear of earning a bad reputation. Knowing John’s popularity, he could not put him to death for fear of losing public admiration. He said yes to John’s death, for fear of breaking the heart of Herodias’ daughter and for breaking his promise. Herod’s attachment to OPINIONS AND PERSONAL INTERESTS made him a weakling and slave of others.
Looking back. The gospel made us aware of our similarities with Herod. Sometimes, we close our eyes to the injustices and immoralities in our midst for fear of losing admiration and meriting the ire of the majority. We don’t want to be alone. We want to belong. We desire to be pleased by everyone, especially by the powerful and wealthy people. We are not willing to sacrifice the admiration of our loved ones and merit their wrath for correcting their immoral acts. And because of our silence to protect our public image and preserve the people’s admiration, we ended up sacrificing our Christian values like truth, justice, and genuine love. We become like Herod, a CROWD-PLEASER AND A SLAVE OF OTHERS’ OPINION AND PERSONAL INTEREST.
God is inviting us to be bold and audacious in upholding truth and justice. The evil reigns in our midst because of our failure to fight injustices, lies, and corruption. We remain silent for fear of losing public admiration. We don’t want to lose our heads like John the Baptist. But in the end, we may have our head intact in front of everyone, but we find ourselves headless in front of God.
John the Baptist may have entered heaven without his head. But in front of all the angels and martyrs who died fighting for truth and justice, he merited their admirations and praises.
What about you? Are you a crowd-pleaser or a God-pleaser? Would you like to face God without your physical head or headless for being a prophet who admonished evil and his cohorts? The choice is yours. Be a headless believer like John and earn God’s merit. 
– Pitik-Bulag
August 1, 2020 – Saturday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14: 1-12

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