Henry and Thomas were friends. Their friendship was built largely around the enjoyment of earthly pleasures and worldly pursuits together as the king and his chancellor. But one day, in a desire to move against the power of God's Church, Henry named Thomas the archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas warned Henry that things would not turn out as he desired, that when the bishop's mitre is placed upon a man's head he is called to put the honor of God even above the friendship and love of a king.
The story ends with the martyrdom of Thomas Becket in the cathedral and the shame of his former friend who in a moment of tormented agony seemed to be calling for his murder. Henry lives to see Thomas canonized a Saint and does public penance for his part in Thomas' murder.
Thomas Becket lived as salt and light, as the praise of God's glory, refusing even the proffered friendship of the most powerful man, his king, in preference to the love of the honor of God. His witness continues to shine before us even today, guiding our own way of faith in this world of competing loyalties and lesser gods.
For the full text of the homily please visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy by clicking here.
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