Saturday, August 3, 2013

Avoiding the truth

How far will we go to avoid the truth?

In today's gospel we have the story that ends with the beheading of John the Baptist. A very familiar story but we can often forget the starting point, John telling Herod a truth he doesn't want to hear. Not only does he not want to hear it, Herodias, his brother's wife, doesn't want to hear it. She so desperately wants to silence this truth that she plots to have John be headed.

While none of us would have someone beheaded, we do have the expression in English "to take someone's head off." Have we not all at some point in life gotten angry because someone spoke a truth to us that we did not want to hear? Usually the level of our angry is proportionate to the truth of the statement. And most of us have probably at some point taken someone's head off.

The saddest part is that this is most common in the one place we should be most dedicated to the truth. We,like Herod, find the problem is at home, and in the family. We have a number of expressions to describe the phenomenon "tiptoeing around it", "walking on eggshells", "the elephant in the room."

The next time someone says something that makes you immediately angry, ask yourself why? It may be that they are completely wrong, but it is far more likely that there is some bit of truth that you don't want to hear.

Rather than jumping to defense mode. Try just saying thank you, and walk away. Pray, take it to God. Ask God to reveal the truth, if there is any. Then we are Christian.