Friday, February 03, 2012

He Has Been Raised Up

February 3, 2012

Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

With his every deed (David) offered thanks to God Most High, in words of praise. With his whole being he loved his Maker and daily had his praises sung; he set singers before the altar and by their voices he made sweet melodies, he added beauty to the feasts and solemnized the season of each year so that when the Holy Name was praised, before daybreak the sanctuary would resound. The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever; he conferred on him the rights of royalty and established his throne in Israel. (Sirach 47:8-11)

Blessed be God my salvation! (Psalms 18:47)

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.” But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.” (Mark 6:14-16)


Lord, Your power and patience awe me. I pray that You help me to listen to Your messengers, so You don’t have to send me quite so many of them for me to learn the same lesson.


Consider the case of Herod. He thinks he’s taken care of John the Baptist, a man Herod liked to listen to, but who was despised by Herod’s wife. John had been outspoken about the fact that Herod and Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother, should not have married. But Herod promised to grant his daughter’s wish after a delightful dance, and she asked for John’s head on a platter. Yet, sometime later, when he heard about Jesus, Herod’s take was that John had come back from the dead. It turned out that Herod hadn’t stamped out the Good News John foretold at all. Like a hydra, the mythological serpent-like water beast, another head had sprung, a head that neither Herod nor the Romans nor anyone else next two thousand-plus years would be able to kill.

We all can learn from Herod’s example. A good friend of mine is fond of saying that if we don’t learn to love and accept the difficult people in our lives, they have a way of resurfacing again and again… either themselves or in the form of other people with the same attributes that annoy us. Sometimes, the traits we find most aggravating in them are traits we secretly (and sometimes unknowingly) despise in ourselves. We yell at them, we avoid them, we do our best to cut them out of our lives. But they keep coming back to teach the lesson God wants us to learn. The thing is that God is patient. He’ll continue to send those opportunities until we pay attention.


Think about a person or a teaching you’re avoiding. Spend some prayer time with God about the situation. What does He want you to learn? How can you be more open to Him?

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