Daily Reflection – Feb 5, 2016
Friday 5 February 2016
First Reading: Sirach 47:2-11
Blessed be God my salvation!
Psalm 17(18):31, 47, 50-51
Gospel Reading: Mark 6:14-29
Today’s Saint: St Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
“John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Others were saying, “He is Elijah”;
still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
“It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”
Herod was the one who had John 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.
Herodias 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.
His 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?”
Her mother 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.
“John had been telling Herod…” There is persistence in prophets. John the Baptist names the sin adultery. While Herod liked to listen to John, Herodias “had a grudge against him.” When she asked for John’s head, “the king was deeply grieved…”, yet sins further. He sounds like David who also committed murder. David’s life is summarized in this chapter from Sirach, but his sins are barely acknowledged. He is praised for both his warring, and his artistic and musical liturgies.
When do you use the gift of perseverance? For what do you need persistence?
If your life were to be summarized in three paragraphs, what would you want said about you? What would Jesus want said about you? Ask him. Listen.
We make music to praise you, God, even while we mourn the poverty of your people. Help us to persevere in prayer and in action, to do justice and love tenderly.