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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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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

August 29, 2019

Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

 

Jer 1: 17-19

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6b, and 17

Mk 6:17-29


Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

 

Gospel Reading

 

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.

 

 

 

Reflection

 

 

The correlation between cause and effect was known to humanity from time immemorial. The theory of Karma, the law of causality, and Newton’s third law of motion are all expressions of the very same truth articulated using diverse terminologies. As Vedas rightly sum up, Ekam sat, vipra bahudha vadanthi (Reality is one, learned people speak of it differently). We often hear people saying, “What goes around comes around.” This is exactly what happened in the case of King Herod as well. His past was catching up. In many Indian languages the word for the past is bhootham. The word bhootham also means ghost. In fact, ghosts are nothing but the past catching up. The unsettled issues of the past will definitely catch up sooner or later. On coffins and tombs we write RIP. Of course, that is our wish and prayer that he or she may rest in peace. But, in order to enter into a peaceful rest one should first settle the account with the past. The best definition for justice is given by Jesus: Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. In other words, give everyone his or her due. That is justice. When we deny justice, we are generating ghosts that will definitely haunt our present as well as our future until justice is done. At his death John the Baptist was at peace, because he has successfully completed his mission. On the cross Jesus too was at peace, but not King Herod. How can he rest until he pays the price? John did not come back to take revenge. It was in the unsettled mind of King Herod that got confused Jesus with John. He has no escape from this basic divine law. In fact, the law of nature, the law of science and the law of God are all basically the same – in simple terms: one who eats salt will drink lots and lots of water!

 

Immediately, somebody may ask, “Then how come good people suffer? Are their sufferings the result of their sins?” Such questions arise from shortsightedness and ignorance. If I say, “The earth is round”, somebody may dispute with me saying, “No, you are wrong, the earth is flat. Can’t you see that it is flat?” If I say, “Sun never rises or sets”, somebody may say, “No, you are lying. Are you blind?” Any amount of arguments is to convince such people, until they advance in knowledge and wisdom. Meanwhile, Herodias tried to save her new husband by eliminating the dissident voice through a foul play. Though she managed to have the head of John on a platter she could not save her husband. There is no shortcut to peace. Justice is a prerequisite to have peace. Justice is giving everybody his or her due. No shortcuts! The Jewish priests and scribes, for their own benefit taught their followers to offer as Korban what should be given to their parents. The magnificent temple and the immense wealth they accumulated thus are no more there. Looking at that temple Jesus predicted, “Not one stone will be left on another. Every stone will be thrown down to the ground” (Mk 13:2). Even today, in spite of all the prayers and deliberations they could not rebuild that temple. Now you please tell me whether the earth is round or flat!

 

Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel 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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