Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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.
1) What people said. Herod did not have a clear conscience. He was full of troubling thoughts and empty fantasies. His conscience told him that he had committed a great sin, but he did not want to admit it. The same thing may happen to you and me; there are issues that spin around in our heads because our conscience will not let us be calm. These are the issues that we did not know how to solve at the time or that haunt us because we did not recognize that we had made a mistake. In this sense, confession helps us a lot. Confession heals us; we can get rid of those ghosts that have been around us for years and that we don’t dare speak about. There are things that are etched into your mind and need to come out… you have to let them out! Let me ask you: how many people have you killed with your comments or your attitudes? And after so long, do those people or those situations still come to your mind and hurt you? Recognize your mistakes, your bad attitudes, and your negative feelings. Talk about them to a priest, in confession. That way you can get rid of them and they do not continue to dwell in you.
2) He lost his head: Yes, yes, he lost his head, but I’m not referring to John, I refer to Herod. He first lost his head over fantasy; over seduction. How many times have we lost our heads because of passions…! ? How hard it is when you get carried away by sentimentality and passion! In the end, because he wanted to appear as a “great king” , and he wanted to look good in front of his lover and his guests, Herod remains in history as a ruthless murderer. If you think you are superior to others and you are full of your own importance, you can end up being a murderer; killing the illusions and the life of others. You can ruin what others have to give and offer. Be careful! We can all get stung by the bug of self-importance, of superiority, of believing we have the ability to handle everything. Humility is a good counselor and so is discipline: they contribute to your self-control and calm your soul. You can’t imagine how nice it is to sleep peacefully at night! But remember that a deranged passion can make you suffer, because it makes you lose your head.
3) Fear of looking bad. This fear that Herod has, can be felt by you and me. Living according to what others think and expect of us. No! You have an identity and your own life – God has given you a mission. You can’t be a person who seeks to always look good in front of others because that leads you to become a puppet and you end up doing things that you don’t want to do… or even destroying the lives of others. How many times, for the sake of appearing as if you were powerful, have you ended up being a slave of the gaze of others!? Don’t lose your mind about a “like” on Facebook, or over a comment or a heart on Instagram… and least of all, don’t lose your head by being a puppet of those around you. If you are clear about who you are, what you want and if you know how to accept your limits, your head will always be in the right place.
God bless you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Don’t forget: Heaven is our goal!