Homily for Friday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: MARTYDOM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.….King Herod also heard about Jesus because his name had become well-known”
By: Fr. Ferran BLASI i Birbe
Homily for Friday February 5 2021
Today, in Mark’s passage we are told about Jesus’ reputation —known by his teachings and miracles. His fame was such some were saying He actually was John the Baptist, Jesus’ relative and precursor, who had resurrected from the dead. This is what Herod, who had ordered John’s death, also thought. But this Jesus was much more than the other men of God: much more than John; much more than any of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Almighty: He was the Son of God, become Man, Perfect God and Perfect Man. This Jesus —present amongst us—, as a man, can understand us and, as God can grant us all we need.
John, the precursor, who had been sent by God before Jesus, with his martyrdom also preceded Jesus in His passion and death. It had also been an unfair death inflicted to a man who was a saint, by Herod, the tetrarch, possibly against his own will, because he respected him and liked to listen to him. Though, John was clear and firm with the king when John criticized his behavior deserving vituperation, because it was not licit to have married Herodias, his brother’s sister.
Herod had accepted Herodias’ daughter request, induced by her mother, when, at a banquet —after a dance that had delighted the king— he had promised her with many oaths, in front of his guests, to give her what she would ask. «What shall I ask for?», she told her mother, who replied: «The head of John the Baptist» (Mk 6:24). And the petty kinglet had the Baptist beheaded. It was certainly an oath that did not oblige him in any way, as it was an evil thing, against any justice and any conscience.
Experience teaches us, once more, that each virtue has to be always joined to all the others, and all together have to grow organically like the fingers of the hand. And, by the same token, when one incurs in some vice, soon others will follow.
Fr. Ferran BLASI i Birbe