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.
— Matthew 12:1-14
The peace of the Lord be with you. I know this won’t surprise you, but I’ll say it anyways: life can be difficult and full of challenges at times.
Both the readings from Jeremiah and the Gospel of Matthew today, remind us that even though we have a relationship with God and He always has our back, it’s not always easy to carry out what we are instructed to do. Thankfully, most of us won’t ever be murdered or killed for our beliefs, but it does happen. I think it’s also very important that we try to choose our words wisely when we’re dealing with individuals who don’t necessarily see things the way we do — that we try to be understanding, thoughtful, and spend more time listening than talking.
That said, conflicts will arise, so we need to be prepared for them. We must accept the world for the way it is, not necessarily the way we think it should be or the way we want it to be. Immersing ourselves in the tools of our faith and trusting that God will provide the proper grace we will need, are important steps to take. Ultimately, God is in control and everything will work out for His good.
Dear Heavenly Father,
help us not to be filled with fear
but to recognize that you walk before us,
each moment of every day,
and when trouble arises,
you’ll be with us
independent of the outcome.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.