DEAR my friends, Here is the Gospel for us today according to St. Mark 6:14-29
King Herod heard of it; for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.”
And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her.
For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.
But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel today proclaims to us that Jesus Christ has come to set us free from the oppression of sin and guilt. But so many times we reject his loving power.
As King Herod, unfortunately, we could not rid ourselves of sin by ridding ourselves of the men who confronted us with our sins. Herod was a weak man. Herod could take a strong stand on the wrong things when he knew the right. Such a stand, however, was a sign of weakness.
Jesus Christ gives grace to the humble. He grants the Holy Spirit to those who acknowledge their sins and who seek God’s mercy and pardon. His grace and pardon not only frees us from a guilty conscience, it enables us to pursue holiness in thought and action as well.
In Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist we worship Jesus Christ and ask God’s grace which enables us to fight fear with faith. It helps us to overcome the temptation to compromise goodness and truth with wrongdoing and falsehood. Let’s rely on God’s grace and help to choose his way of holiness and to reject whatever would compromise our faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, form in us the likeness of you that we may imitate you in word and deed. Help us to live the Gospel faithfully and give us the strength and courage we need to accept and to trust you lovingly then we witness your love to others now and forever. Amen.