Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1Heb13:1-8; Gospel Mk 6:14-29
It is a common and frequent usage that ‘power corrupts people.’ To have an authority is a gift and responsibility because it is an opportunity to serve and empower, those who are entrusted to our care. But when we glance through the news papers and other sources, we see authority often becomes a means who take personal advantages over others. The terms such as serving, empowering have completely been forgotten. This is not a recent issue but is of time immemorial. Today’s gospel introduces us the person of King Herod. Herod was appreciated among Jews because he renovated the Jerusalem temple and did a lot of things to please Jews but his personal life was in a mess. He had an extra-marital relationship with his brother’s wife Herodia. Herod wanted to justify his immoral act by limiting the freedom of John the Baptist so that he might not raise voice against his lose living. He had high respect for John as a prophet of Israel. However, Herodias daughter demanded John’s head as a gift for her dance, though he had prick of conscience, he allowed himself to be carried away by his sinful living at the cost of an innocent blood. In our times too, we see leaders like Herod who use their power for their personal advantage and in order to cover up their moral and administrative failures. They persecute the ordinary people through their policies that favour the elite class of the society. As we approach general elections let us pray for all our leaders that they may receive the wisdom to understand that the leadership is not a position but it is a gift and responsibility to serve the citizens. Let us also for ourselves that we may elect authentic leaders who stand by the truth and protect the integrity and diversity of our country.