Daily Reflection – Aug 29, 2016
Monday 29 August 2016
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Lord, I love your commands
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:17-29
Today’s Feast: The Passion of St John the Baptist (Memorial)
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
A strange fact about us human beings is that we are haunted by both sin and goodness. Herod was an odd mixture. He feared and respected John at the same time. He dreaded Joh’s tongue while at the same time he found pleasure in listening to him. He acted on impulse. A person should never by self indulgence get into a state of losing the power of judgement and be liable to do things which may be regretted later.
Herodias shows us what an embittered woman can do. Jewish Rabbis had a saying: “When a good woman marries a bad man, she can change him for good; while a bad woman can change a good man into a bad one.”
John the Baptist was a man of courage. He preferred death to falsehood; he lived and died for truth. He was a person who brought the word of God to people and acted as their conscience.
Most of us fall into one of several categories. We are not sure what is right and cannot decide for ourselves, too proud and ignorant to accept and change. We should strive to be humble and be courageous in standing for the truth.
“God, our Father, give us the courage to witness and stand for the truth.”