READING OF THE DAY
A reading from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah
JER 26:11-16, 24
The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
“This man deserves death;
he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.”
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
“It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city
all that you have heard.
Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
listen to the voice of the LORD your God,
so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
As for me, I am in your hands;
do with me what you think good and right.
But mark well: if you put me to death,
it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
on this city and its citizens.
For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you,
to speak all these things for you to hear.”Thereupon the princes and all the people
said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve death;
it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.” So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah,
so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
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.
Saturday of 17th Week in Ordinary Time
Dear People of God,
The Word of God in today’s Gospel tells the story of a barbaric act of King Herod. Because he kept his promise to the daughter of Herodias, who had committed adultery with the king, that he ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded.
Through this story, Jesus wants to remind everyone not be greedy for worldly power and fame, and not be deceived into desires and pleasures in this world. People today need to be alert and wise before each of their words and deeds. Don’t be like that old fox Herod, just because of an empty promise to a sinful daughter, he killed a righteous man, that is John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Savior to come in the world. This is a great sin for a king to not distinguish between what is just and right, what is truth and what is false; just because of lust, just because of a promise in a drunken state, just because of the power and honor of a king that obscured his reason, that the king committed the crime of killing the prophet of God .
Today, God wants to remind His children not fall into the traps of the world: money, position, power, fame and lust.
God always loves people, He invites people to:
– Repent, turn from the way of sin and return to God.
– Give up worldly sexual passions, and return to glorifying God who brings life and happiness to people.
– Do not make wrong judgments for the honor and authority of the world, this displeases God.
– Do not because of the constraints of power and position that dare not carry out the Word of God commanded, that is: live to love, forgive, self – sacrifice, fasting, prayer, give up worldly passions in order to return to be at peace with God as He has commanded through His Profets of today.
Because of love for his Children, God wants to remind everyone, including the hierarchy of the Church, successors, cardinals, bishops, priests, religious men and women and the entire community God’s people to return to be at peace with God, living according to His Words taught through His prophets in the new age today.
Thanks be to God. Amen.