February 8 – Friday
Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: MK 6:14-29
Do you ever feel haunted by a past failure or a guilty conscience? The Lord Jesus came to set us free from the oppression of sin and guilt. King Herod, the most powerful and wealthy man in Judea, had everything he wanted, except a clear conscience and peace with God. Herod had respected and feared John the Baptist as a great prophet and servant of God. John, however did not fear to rebuke Herod for his adulterous relationship with his brother's wife, Herodias. John ended up in prison because of Herodias' hatred and jealousy. Herod, out of impulse and a desire to please his family and friends, had John beheaded. Now Herod's conscience is pricked when he hears that some think that the Baptist has risen.
St Mark is trying to prepare us – the weak disciples for the passion of Jesus. We are to become strong in face of the world’s evil. Whose head is being cut off today? The heads of the voiceless, the dispossessed, the victims of war, the aborted, prisoners of conscience?
If you were the soldier in the story, would you simply do what you were told, or would you refuse and end up being beheaded yourself?
Prayer: (all together)
Heavenly Father, Help me for being weak to embrace your passion. Give me the strength and courage I need to not shrink back in the face of adversity and temptation. Amen