Martyrdom Of St. John The Baptist
2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; Mark 6: 17-29
The reading from 2 Thessalonians 3 is mainly about warning us about being idle and hanging out with people who are such as well. Paul teaches us to be productive and to earn the food that we eat and everything that we use or spend. We have to toil for all these. As they have not bothered a single soul for their needs in their Christian ministry work, so should we. We should likewise live within our means so that we won’t have the need to bother other people to meet our needs. We should only spend what we can spend. In order for us to enjoy more things, we have to double our efforts and work harder.
The book of Mark 17-29 is about King Herod and John’s beheading. King Herod answered to no one but himself. The thing that he valued most is his feeling of being in power and control, and his popularity. The fear of losing these by going against Herodias’ daughter’s wish of having John the Baptist beheaded overwhelmed him more than his fear of John the Baptist, so he ended up giving in to the wish.
Herod didn’t have the right courage, unlike Jesus and John the Baptist. The lives of Gallileans were very much controlled by Scribes, Pharisees, and by the government. Despite such control over them, Jesus and John the Baptist didn’t care, as long as they taught what was right. Herod, on the other hand, did things that may have been wrong, because his focus was not in doing what right, but preserving his power and position. He loved his lazy and idle life so much that he wanted to preserve it.
In today’s times, we still see corrupt public officials, although the level of corruption may not be as bad as in Jesus’ time. However, a sinner is a sinner. As long as we have these corrupt officials, our country will never improve. Let us pray for these public officials, that the Lord may fill them up with the Holy Spirit and touch their hearts, that they may see the world with a new pair of eyes. Politics has always been the devil’s tool to tempt us out of righteousness. For with God, humility, a selfless heart, and being poor in spirit are the ways to His kingdom, but with the devil, it’s power, greed, and selfishness. It’s easy to be tempted when you are in power. We can’t blame people if they become corrupt, for we too, may be guilty of such if we are faced with the same temptations. We should instead pray for all these leaders instead of judging them.
As for yourself, do you see yourself making the same mistakes? Do you make decisions that you are not really convinced to do but do them anyway, just to save some trouble for yourself, or to get the job done faster, at the expense of the quality of the job? Do you keep silent when you are supposed to speak up? Are you all about yourself? Are you idle? All these you have to ask yourself before you can correct yourself and move on.