So few lines in the gospel today, but such a huge lesson!
Pride made Herod arrest John the Baptist because the Baptizer was openly calling his marriage incestuous, sinful and unworthy of a King. He has John dungeoned to quiet the irritating prophet who was damaging his standing in the community. Pride.
It is Pride again when Herod makes a boastful promise in front of a group of guests. Rather than look weak or foolish, he orders John’s murder. Later, troubling rumors reach the Court that cause him to fear that John may have risen from the dead and is now performing powerful miracles. H
I tell my young grandson that “bad decisions cause things to not go so well, while good decisions cause good actions which bring us happiness. Not listening to parents usually means trouble of one sort or another. Making good decisions, like doing what Momma asks, usually brings smiles and good consequences.
Why is it that I can help him see the lesson, but it is so hard for me to internalize it? False steps are built on stairways with false steps building on one another. Herod imprisons John because of his Pride, then his pride forces him to behead the prophet, Pride being the motivating factor in both actions.
When I listen to myself or others before I listen to God, bad things happen. Obeying God’s law is not a burdensome roadblock, but a guide from a loving Father to the road to real happiness. I must strive harder to listen to God and obey His law.
Day by day, oh dear Lord three things I pray;
To see Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly day by day.
“Day by Day” from the musical “Godspell” 1972
Ray Alonzo is the father of three children, grandfather of two, and husband to Jan for 45 years. He is a USN Vietnam Veteran, and a 1969 graduate of Mother of Good Counsel Passionist Prep Seminary. Ray currently serves on the Passionist Alumni Council.