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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Friday of the 4th Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

February 8, 2019

Friday of the 4th Week in the Ordinary Time

 

Hebrews 13:1-8 ;

 Psalm 27:1, 3, 5, 8-9;

Gospel MK 6:14-29


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 prisonon 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 himand 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 dancethat 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 platterthe head of John the Baptist."The king was deeply distressed,but because of his oaths and the guestshe did not wish to break his word to her.So he promptly dispatched an executionerwith orders to bring back his head.He went off and beheaded him in the prison.He brought in the head on a platterand 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.

 

 

Admirers and Disciples

 

There were two brothers in Georgia during the 1950's. One decided that in opposition to the dominant culture of the day, he was going to support and participate in the formation of a multi-ethnic community. The other worked as an attorney for a prominent law firm. Both were Christians and attended church regularly. As the multi-ethnic community formed and social pressure forced them into court proceedings, the one brother asked his attorney brother to help them with the legal work. The brother refused, saying that he could lose his job. The pressure increased to help with a reminder that he was a Christian. The lawyer responded, "I will follow Jesus to his cross, but it is his cross. I have no need to be crucified." To this his brother replied, "Then you are an admirer of Jesus, but not his disciple."


There are a couple of similarities in this story and our reading today. One is the relationship between Herod and John the Baptist. He greatly admired this prophet from God, but not enough to become his disciple, not enough to risk his own honour and prestige to protect him.


Another similarity occurs in the first part of our text between some people, including Herod, and Jesus. These people had heard about Jesus. They knew of his great work. They heard about his powerful teaching. They admired him, but they came to the wrong conclusions about him. These people knew about Jesus, but they didn't know Jesus.  Our Christian faith is more than knowing about Jesus. It is more than admiring Jesus.  It is more than just gladly hearing the Word.  Herod had done all that, but the Word sown in his life did not bear fruit. For some New Testament scholars Herod is an example of seed sown among the thorns. Herod feared John. He knew that he was a righteous and holy man. He protected him. He liked to listen to him. He heard the word gladly! The seed had been sown.  After the request is made for the head of John the Baptist, Herod was in a tough spot. He was deeply perplexed.  He had made an oath. His guests had heard it. He must keep his word. And so it was that the cares of the world choked out the word he had heard. The seed that John had sown yielded nothing.


Just like Herod, willingness to sacrifice others to maintain honour, prestige, and power remains one of the great temptations of persons in positions of authority.   We should ask ‘What kinds of worldly cares choke out the word among people today or what kinds of worldly cares choke out the word in us?.   Remember, the One who came to transform sinners into saints can also transform 'thorny ground' or our heart into good soil for the gospel.


Fr .Cyril Kuttiyanickal CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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