I just read the account of St. John the Baptist being martyred in the gospel of Mark. St. John the Baptist was a holy and righteous man. He did what God wanted. And because of it, he was beheaded. Normally, that would indicate a tragic ending, but only if we forget one thing: eternal life.
St. John the Baptist was going to die anyway. One way or another, everyone dies. Our earthly lives will end. Was his death worse than others? Sure. Some people die in their sleep. The way we die is not a tragedy. If we die eternally, THAT is a tragedy. St. John the Baptist’s death is striking. But he still lives on in Heaven, which is the goal.
So many times, we let our faith be lessened because we are unwilling to take a little bit of public shame, or just the possibility of such shame. St. John the Baptist cared not for such things. He did what God called him to do. He corrected another person. Why? Because they and others who see the injustice need to know the truth. They need to know how to get to Heaven.
I doubt you and I are called to be like St. John the Baptist and preach publicly and call out others publicly. But we can learn that we need to be able to stretch out our necks for Jesus, even if it might get our heads chopped off. After all, we are gaining more than we are losing.
St. John the Baptist, help us to maintain and grow our faith in every situation in our lives that we might reach our goal of Heaven.