Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist - Visiting Bishop's homily

Visiting bishop and pastor this morning after Mass

Today Saints Peter and Paul Church in Honolulu, was privileged to have a visiting bishop from the Philippines, celebrate Mass.

In his homily about the gospel reading of the death of St. John the Baptist,  he gave two examples of two very young people who were not afraid to stand up for the truth and to stand up for their faith.

The first story was about a busload of people traveling into Muslim territory in the Philippines. The Muslim bandits stopped the bus and ordered all the Christians off the bus.  Not one person on the bus had the courage to stand up and state that he or she was a Christian. However, one small boy stood up.  His mother frantically tried to tell him to be quiet and to stay down.  He responded that he had just learned in his catechism class to stand up for the faith.  The bandits lead him off the bus. They were actually impressed by this brave little Christian and thank God, nothing bad happened.

The second and less dramatic story was about the bishop and some Catholic volunteers bringing relief supplies to a tent city of homeless people.  Upon seeing extra relief supplies, one man asked for another bag.  His little daughter spoke out and told her father and the volunteers that they had already had their share and maybe someone else could use it. The father told her to be quiet but the little girl insisted it they had already had their share.  Later that night, the angry father slapped his daughter on her face.

We can learn much from these two young people who followed the example of the baptizer who stood up for truth, regardless of the danger to themselves.