"But when Herod learned of it, he said, 'It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.'" Mk 6:16
The legend of St Blaise is fascinating and instructive. Called a legend since it was written 400 years after his death, the story that has made him famous, even today, tells us that as he was being led away from a cave where he was praying, a little boy with a fish bone stuck in his throat was brought to him. Blaise blessed him and the bone popped out, allowing him to breathe and speak again.
Today's gospel about the beheading of St John the Baptist makes us wonder about what Herod had stuck in his throat making it impossible to confront his daughter and wife who wanted John's head on a platter. Surely Herod's pride, his emabarrassment and his fear of being made a fool of in front on his guests made it impossible for him to refuse his daughter's request for John's head even though the gospel tells us that Herod like to listen to John. Little did Herod realize that in silencing John once and for all by killing him he would make his voice in death even louder than it was in life.
Today's feast and gospel give all of us pause to think and pray about the "bones" stuck in our throats that make it difficult for us to tell the truth. Whether it is our shame or fear of being seen for who we are does not really matter. God will help us in every aspect of life when we ask for help humbly.
Today, spit out your shame and help others find their voice.