“Listening to our conscience and having the courage to unload every burden of guilt, by walking on the path of goodness!
(Based on Eccle 1:2-11 and Lk 9:7-9 – Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time)
An incident is narrated of a man who brought a package of supplies from a trading shop.
On reaching home, to his surprise, he found a silver coin inside the package.
Something troubled him.
He came back the next morning to the trader and handed him back the silver coin.
The trader was amused and surprised and asked him: “That’s interesting to see that you have returned back the silver coin!”
The customer replied: “Well, I got a good man and a bad man in my heart!
The good man said,
It is not yours'; the bad man said, 'Nobody will know'. The good man said, 'Take it back'; the bad man said,Never mind’.”
And so thinking, I went to bed…
… but the good man and the bad man talked the whole night and troubled me.
Next morning, I decided…
… to unload the burden of my guilt, by returning to the path of goodness!”
The conscience of the man caused him disturbance, because of the fault that he was supposedly in…
… and made him to yield to its goodness!
Each of us, at every moment, have our conscience speaking to us…
Do we listen and give heed?
Or do we silence the voice of the conscience and allow our guilt to rotten up our minds, and dirty our actions?
The Gospel of the Day presents the intense ordeal faced by King Herod who failed to give consideration to the voice of conscience…
And instead had his mind corrupted and his actions dirtied…
… by falling into the trap of guilt and shame.
King Herod had exercised his authority and sinfulness by beheading John the Baptist. (Mt 14:1-12; Mk 6:14-27).
The demon of guilt and shame of that inhuman murder kept bothering him.
In this scattered state of mind, King Herod hears about the deeds and wonders of another man, Jesus.
His guilt-filled and confused mind is unable to grasp the identity of this new man who works marvels and so he asks: “I had John beheaded; WHO IS THIS MAN about whom I hear such wonders?”(Lk 9:9)
The king harassed by sin and shame failed to grapple the mystery of the Son of God, the King of kings!
Herod’s question is perhaps, one the most important question ever asked or answered:
“WHO IS THIS MAN?”
Being confused about Who Jesus is, was not new trend, especially in the Gospel of St Luke.
In Lk 5:21, at the healing of the paralytic, the Scribes and Pharisees begin to ask, “WHO IS THIS who speaks blasphemy?”
In Lk 7:19, the disciples of John the Baptist question Him, “ARE YOU THE ONE WHO IS TO COME, or should we look for another?”
In Lk 7:49, after the pardon of the sinful woman who washed His feet, the others, who were invited for the meal commented, “WHO IS THIS who even forgives sins?”
In Lk 8:25, after witnessed the calming of the sea and the storms, the disciples inquire, “WHO then IS THIS, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?“
In Lk 9:20, Jesus Himself asks His disciples, “WHO do you say AM I?“
In Lk 20:2, the chief priests and scribes question Jesus, “By what AUTHORITY ARE YOU doing these things? Or who is the one WHO GAVE YOU AUTHORITY?“
In Lk 22:70, the council of elders and the chief priests and the scribes question Jesus, “ARE YOU then THE SON OF GOD?“
The persona of Jesus surpasses great minds and cannot be arrested by hardened hearts!
The character of Jesus baffles proud mentalities and cannot be captured by cynical spirits!
King Herod was greatly disturbed with a guilty conscience and a sinful heart.
He felt greatly challenged and threatened by Jesus, Who was being considered as a King.
The sinful and corrupt Kingdom of Herod was faced with an opposition from…
… the pure and holy Kingdom of God!
We need to examine our lives and conscience and check…
Am I, like King Herod, filled with fear and doubts because of my sinful conscience and guilty mind?
Am I eager, like King Herod to see some miracles of Jesus, just to satisfy my curiosity, but not for repentance?
Am I hesitant to encounter the Lord, because that could mean having a transformation and renewal of my life?
Yes, each of us, at every moment, have our conscience speaking to us…
Do we listen and give heed?
Or do we silence the voice of the conscience and allow our guilt to rotten up our minds and dirty our actions?
Purified by the Sacraments…
… strengthened by God’s Word…
… empowered in prayer…
May we become persons who have our conscience always pure and always give heed to the voice of the Lord, “Be Holy, as I am Holy!”
Let us always listen to our conscience…
… and have the courage to unload every burden of guilt, by walking on the path of goodness!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Those who look well after their own consciences…