8/5/2023 (Saturday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 14:1-12
1 Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
2 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.”
3 Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
4 for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
5 Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet.
6 But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod
7 so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given,
10 and he had John beheaded in the prison.
11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
12 His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
8/5/2023 (Saturday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 14:1-12
Please God, not man. This is one important lesson that we can learn from the gospel passage above. John the Baptist wanted to please God so he was committed to tell the truth about sin. Herod wanted to please his wife Herodias and their daughter so he arrested and imprisoned John the Baptist and then beheaded him.
John the Baptist has shown us how to please God even at the cost of one’s life. He was faithful in his mission to prepare the path for the coming of the Messiah. He was a lowly person crying out in the wilderness for everyone to listen and repent. Part of his mission was to tell the truth without fear or favor.
On the other hand, Herod the Tetrarch has shown us how to please man instead of God. He has shown us the height and magnitude of foolishness. He was a fool to commit the most atrocious evil just to please Herodias, their daughter and the guests of his party who were the elite of society. He was a fool to be drunk with power. He was a fool not to recognize John as a man of God and he was a fool not to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
Let us therefore make up our mind today. Do we want to please God and follow His commandments like John the Baptist or do we want to please our fellowmen and displease God by committing sin like Herod the Tetrarch?