02 August 2008


Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time
Mt 14:1-12

Some people are born with dancing feet. I am not. I can sing a tune but I am not good with swaying to a rhythm. When I had to sing fast songs in my previous concerts, the rehearsals were like punishments for me. Many people call me “the Singing Priest”, but no one ever dared to say that I am a “Dancing Priest”.

The world is like a huge dance floor. Living is like dancing. There are two kinds of music being played: one is mundane while the other is divine. There are two disc jockeys: the devil plays the worldly music while Jesus plays the heavenly. All of us, born with dancing feet or not, sway to the rhythm of either music. The choice is always ours: Do we dance to the rhythm of the world or to the rhythm of Christ?

John the Baptist, whose martyrdom is narrated to us by the gospel today, chose to sway with the heavenly music while Herod, Herodias, Herodias’ daughter, the courtiers and guests of Herod chose to dance to the other kind of rhythm. Thus, John was beheaded. But having been freed from this world, John now dances with Jesus, the “Lord of the Dance”.

John the Baptist is remembered as one who lost his head because Herodias’ daughter seduced Herod with her dance. John was the price paid by Herod for a seductive dance. Such a dance was too expensive, was it not?

That is how the world exacts fees into the dance floor. The payment is always someone’s life. It is either the dancer’s life or the life of whoever refuses to dance to the rhythm of the mundane tune. When the fee is the dancer’s life, it is to that dancer’s perdition. But if the fee is the life of one who refuses to dance to the mundane rhythm, it is that person’s liberation from this intoxicating world.

We may not be born with dancing feet, but we dance through life. As with what rhythm we sway, the choice is always ours.


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