In our continued reflections on the Declaration on Religious Liberty of Vatican II, the Council Fathers stress that truth (with its origins in God) must be "sought after in a manner proper to the dignity of the human person and his social nature." We must be free to seek the truth. That search is communal in nature. Because the search for truth, the finding of truth and the sharing of truth is realized within the framework of community, we must be free to not only seek it, but to communicate it with others and to hold fast to it. It cannot and must not be inhibited in any way. See the Reflection for the Fortnight For Freedom on the U.S. Bishops' web site for a more expanded explanation.
Today is the wonderful feast of the birth of John the Baptist. Probably because I spent so much of my priesthood in a parish under his protection, he is one of my favorite saints. He is one of those rare persons that the Church celebrates a feast in honor, not only of their death and entrance into eternal glory, but also of their biological birth. Jesus, obviously, and Mary and John. On the sign of the local Lutheran Church was the caption for today: "John the Baptist - Wild Thing!"
John was that, wild in his personality, wild in his demeanor, wild in his witness and wild in his purpose in life. He did very little in half measure. He was an "in your face" prophet. He was irritating, and inspiring, and compelling. Herod was so put off be his message and yet so moved by his words of rebuke that he did not know what to do and regretted doing what he ended up doing.
That was John. He pointed the way to Christ ... Behold the Lamb of God! He was a great witness to the formation of conscience and the free expression of truth, a model even for our times.
I had three friends from the old parish in Scottdale visit and attend the 11 am Mass today. It was good to see them. The same parish of Saint John the Baptist today resurrected a one day parish festival which I went to this evening. Steady attendance through the day and a great evening with more friends made the day successful. I offered to pay for Father George Saletrik, the pastor's, psych evaluation that he needed in starting up a festival again. He declined. All in all, a great day. By the way, remember ... six months from today is Christmas Eve!