The lives of Jesus and John the Baptist are intertwined. Besides being related by blood, they are also bound by a common mission. Jesus as God-sent Savior will proclaim the heavenly Father’s Kingdom, while John the Baptist is His herald. Even people like Herod see the similarity, and Herod thinks Jesus to be John the Baptist risen from the dead.
Herod is bothered by his conscience after he has ordered the beheading of John. He knows that John did nothing to merit death penalty. At his birthday party Herod recklessly promises Herodias’ daughter to give her anything that she wants after she has delighted Herod with a dance.
John the Baptist was the strident voice that called people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah and to repent of their sins. He was jailed because he publicly rebuked Herod and Herodias who both divorced their spouses so that they could marry each other.
For speaking the truth, John paid with his own life. Do we stand for the truth?
Gospel • MATTHEW 14:1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This Man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in Him.”
Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.