Preaching IT: "Would You Stand for Truth?" (Fr. Jonathan Schmolt)

Homily on The Memorial of the Beheading of John the Baptist / Mark 6:17-29

When we remember today the Beheading of John the Baptist, we are challenged by a simple question, “Would we stand up for the truth if it meant our death?” John the Baptist challenged the man in leadership, Herod, because he was unlawfully married to his brother’s wife. The assumption here is Herod’s brother is still alive when this happened. John the Baptist was not afraid to point out this fact, knowing that challenging the governor could well mean his death.

Today, how many times are we willing to challenge others about the faith? If we feel the call of the Holy Spirit to speak the truth, would we respond? I know that I find myself hesitant to challenge others. I feel well trained by our society to keep the peace, don’t rock the boat, and keep my opinions to myself. However, if everyone simply keeps silent when sin occurs, then is it surprising that people take greater freedoms to not follow the teachings of God?

Any one of us can be called to speak the truth. Are we ready to respond? Would you or I be willing to be like John the Baptist and challenge the sinful actions of others? If God is calling you or me to respond, would we speak up? If you or I do not respond, who will?

Fr. Jonathan is parochial vicar at St. George Parish in Erie, Pennsylvania.


We believe that God purposefully designed us for a life of fulfillment in Him.  The Church has the mission of faithfully communicating the shape of this design.  Our acceptance or rejection of these truths is the hinge of life, determining whether our lives are fulfilled, or fall apart. We applaud priests who faithfully proclaim these truths, particularly those that are most challenging. As each of us are incomplete, we invite you to join us in the adventure of seeking and responding to this life-giving truth from our loving God

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