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August 01, 2020

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Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12
At that time, the reports about Jesus reached king Herod. And he said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
John has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in John.” Herod had, in fact,
ordered that John be arrested, bound in chains and put in prison, because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.
For John had said to Herod, “It is not right for you to have her as your wife.” Herod wanted to kill him but he did not dare,


because he feared the people, who regarded John as a prophet. On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced among the guests;
she so delighted Herod that he promised under oath to give her anything she asked for. The girl, following the advice of her mother,
said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist, here, on a dish.” The king was very displeased, but because he had made his promise under oath,
in the presence of his guests, he ordered it to be given to her. So he had John beheaded in prison,
and his head brought on a dish and given to the girl. The girl then took it to her mother. Then John’s disciples came,
took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

REFLECTION:
The Gospel actually ended with, not just one, but two headless persons. The first is John the Baptist, the other is King Herod himself.
In fact, Herod was already headless even before he took the head of John the Baptist.
His head were the power-hungry people surrounding him, his advisers, his wife, and then the daughter of his wife.
He was a puppet whose head was all-foam. On the other hand, John’s head is God Himself.
If one speaks on behalf of God, no one can take anything from him.
Here lies the big difference between a leader whose authority rests on mischievous advisers and a prophet whose authority springs from God alone.
In the end, John did not really lose his head. Herod is ­actually the one beheaded in our Gospel today.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2020

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