The Good News for the Day, August 3, 2017
Saturday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time (407)
Herod Antipas, the tetrarch son of Herod the Great, heard about the growing fame of Jesus and remarked to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist, raised from the dead! That’s why such significant powers are at work in him.” Previously, Herod had John arrested, tied him up, and held him in prison for the sake of the wife of his brother Philip—Herodias. John had said to him, “It isn’t legal for you to marry her.” Although Herod wanted to kill John, he feared for his own popularity; people saw John as a prophet. But at one birthday party for Herod, his stepdaughter by Herodias performed a dance before the guests and Herod liked it so much he promised with an oath to give her anything she wanted. At her mother’s prompting, she said, “Bring the head of John the Baptist to me on a platter.” The ruler was upset, but to keep his promise—and because of the guests present—he ordered that it be done! He ordered John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and then given to the girl, who took it to her mother. John’s followers and friends came and took the corpse away and buried him. Then they went and informed Jesus. (Matthew 14)
This gruesome tale has inspirations buried in the narrative. You may be touched—affected—by secular, political events in your lifetime. A hero of yours dies (as in the sixties)—and you go on. You learn of tragedies and cruelty, conspiracies and bad mistakes by secular governments—and you go on. You may see ordinary people (like this royal stepdaughter who may know nothing of politics)—your friends and relatives—do terrible, stupid and even bad things—and you go on.
Why—because you are at peace, alive to evil, aware of our Father, aware of the scale of Creation in Time and Space. No matter what happens out there—no matter how much depression attacks your heart, no matter how defeated and overcome you feel, no matter the turmoil out there when all is Not Right with the World—You have faith…and long-term hope. God is Good!