Monday, October 2 (September 19), 2023
Eph. 4:25-32, Lk. 3:19-22
Herod is the epitome of sick conscience, of selfishness disturbed by the reproach of truth, hoping to get rid of that nuisance through violence. St. John the Baptist is the epitome of truth persecuted by selfishness when it has means of doing that [Lk. 3:19-20].
Wishing to protect your feelings, someone might soften the truth by kindness and deference, by friendly, loving manner of speech, ─ all in vain: truth, looking straight into the inner eye of your conscience, will raise inside you a tempest of reproach. Selfishness is short-sighted: unable to distinguish whether the message of reproach comes from inside or outside, it assails the outside messenger with all possible vigor. By shutting his voice, your selfishness hopes for the inner voice to calm down as well, ─ but this does not happen: you have chosen wrong target for your assault.
Strive rather to satisfy your conscience. Then, no matter how hard they would reproach you from outside, they would never disturb your inner peace; moreover, they’d even render it deeper, by forcing you to summon all your peace-making arguments: faith in the crucified and risen Lord, sincerity in your repentance and confession of your sin, firmness of your resolve not to compromise your conscience henceforth.
That is the only way out. Throwing people in jail does not help: there are too many of them around. The word of God’s truth is walking upon the earth at every place, and everyone will be your accuser like St. John the Baptist.