4th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday (Year I)
Hebrews 13:1-8; Mark 6:14-29
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Thus we may say with confidence:
“The Lord is my helper,
[and] I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.Hebrews 13:1-8
King Herod heard about Jesus, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” Others said, “He is Elijah.” And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”
For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” “The head of John the Baptist,” she answered. At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.Mark 6:14-29
Abraham and Lot
Entertained angels unawares.1
Herod the despot
Reveled and toasted love affairs.
Prisoners are Christ
Whom we love as our own Body.
Slew the Baptist by debauchery.
Marriage is sacred:
“Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh.”2
Seeks adulterers to enmesh.
Worship not mammon,
For God will never forsake us.
Wealth is a dragon
Swearing oaths that overtake us.
Venerate the saints,
Bearers of Christ in word and deed.
A paramour’s plaints
The saintly prophet did not heed.
Jesus Christ our Lord,
Yesterday, today, forever,
Struck Antipas’ chord,
Of John’s head he dared to sever.
1 Genesis 18-19.
2 Genesis 2:23.