August 29, 2013
by James Andrade
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.
Today the Catholic church celebrates John the Baptist. John was one who felt compelled by God to act in such a manner that many thought he was “weird”. He lived in the desert, ate locusts, wore a camel-skin. Many who went to see him went to see the strange hermit, probably to make jest. But the interesting thing is that John’s words captivated. He spoke in such a manner that people heard and many repented and were baptized by him.
Even King Herod could not stop listening to him, though he remained largely unaffected. Or at least, he allowed himself to be distracted by Herodias and her daughter. He reluctantly had John beheaded. Who knows what might have happened if Herodias and her daughter had been rejected instead of John? Perhaps King Herod would have finally been persuaded to repent?
We need to realize that we must be that “…chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) Even though we be considered ‘weird’ or ‘strange’ or ‘peculiar’ we must proclaim the truth because it actually appeals to people whether they receive it or not. We can never tell who might be listening and willing to receive.
Yet continuing that thought we must be ready to be rejected and even persecuted (beheaded?) for speaking that which we know to be true. We cannot let Herodias and her daughter dissuade us from being true to our callings. Our success is not measured by what we may or may not perceive, but rather by what God has ordained to be. To those who hear and turn around, those will find what we are all looking for: redemption, salvation, grace! 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.