Friday: 4th Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8: Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever.
Gospel: Mark 6: 14-29: It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.
The Death of John the Baptist: The Immoral verses the Righteous
Herod heard about Jesus and the preaching of the disciples and the news troubled and disturbed him. The reason was that Herod was doing the immoral activities and already he had beheaded John the Baptist because of his selfish motives; whereas Jesus and his disciples were establishing the kingdom of God through their ministry of preaching, teaching and healing and they were doing the righteous activities against immorality in the society.
1. The opinions about Jesus spread as the disciples preached (v.14-15)
a. Herod: thought Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead
b. Others: thought Jesus was Elijah or prophet: wrong conception
2. Herod’s reaction to Jesus: a guilty conscience (16-23)
a. Because of several illegal acts
i. Imprisoning a just man John the Baptist
ii. Stealing his half brother’s wife
iii. Committing adultery
b. Because of an inadequate religion
c. Because of a partying, drunken spirit
d. Because of seeking social approval
e. Because of his fear of what people might say
3. Salome’s reaction to John: Weakness of character (24-25)
a. Social conformity: dress apparel and partying
b. Immature dependency upon mother
4. Herodias’ reaction to John: a revengeful spirit (25-26)
i. She wanted to live as she wished
ii. She wanted to sin without interference
iii. She ignored God, His law and demand for accountability. She ignored the message of God and His righteousness. She ignored the fact that she had to meet God after death
5. John’s reaction to Jesus: a courageous loyalty to the Messiah-martyrdom (27-29)
Thought: Salome is picture of so many today who lack self-esteem and a strong spirit, of many who sense a great need to fit in. Therefore, they give in to the immoral and sinful suggestions and lists of others.