Tuesday 7 July 2015

Saturday of 17th Week, uneven numbered year Samedi de la 17e semaine, année impaire

Lv.25,1-17 Ps.66 Mt. 14,1-12

Saturday of 17th Week, uneven numbered year

At that time the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus and said to his court, ’This is John the Baptist himself;he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’Now it was Herod who arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him : ’It is against the law for you to have her.’He had wanted to kill him, but was afraid of the people who regarded John as a prophet.Then during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday,the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and so delighted Herod that he promised an oath to give her anything he asked.“Jean Baptist goes before Jesus to prepare his ways. John should have first of all presented himself so that Jesus did so in his turn and be baptised by him, likewise John will die before Jesus who moves ahead on the road to Jerusalem to be crucified there. Following John there is people of prophets that doesn’t make pacts with lies. Herod, the prince of Galilee, does not know it is a people of kings! We are ’royal’ by the fire that burns in our hearts. The royal dimension of our lives is the Infinite Love that God puts there and burns there. People of priests,we intercede by the whole of our life for the world and for ourselves.”Prompted by her mother, she said, ’’Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish."

What comes out of this execution of John the Baptist is that Jesus is announced by John. Just before this gospel, Jesus declared : ’A prophet is despised only in his own land and home.’ John the Baptist announces Jesus’ death and this is the most outstanding proof that Jesus will undergo the death of prophets. He will express himself in this way with the prophets, learned and scribes :’ This is why I send you towards prophets, the learned and scribes : you will kill some of them, put them on the Cross…’ John the Baptist will remain faithful to his mision as precurser up until his death. In his prison John the Baptist is tormented. He announces Jesus by his life and Jesus will fortify him : ’I shall make of you a fortified town, a column of iron,a rempart of bronze.’ We too, vigilant in prayer, need to remain in the Light, as did the ’prophet’. Our

path is one of light and discernment that says where there are lies and where there is truth in the world. It is a way of light because it is a way of love. As prophets we have to bear the light and the word of Jesus everywhere we go.

“The king was distressed bu then thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her,and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl,who took it to her mother. John’s disciples took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.”

John, by his sufferings and death,announces the Passion of the Lord Jesus. Matthew precises that Herod’ had wanted to kill John; but had feared the crowd because they took him for a prophet." A people of priests, prophets and kings, it is in God that we find all that we need to accomplish our mission.Holiness is our mission, we know that the Evil One tries to annihilate the work of God in each one of our lives in a multitude of ways. But we are a path of light and of life for each other. The psalm says : ’I shall sing of God’s love endlessly.’ We are in a link of love with our God : ’My love and my fidelity are with him and my name increases your vigour.’ As we follow Jesus we do as a people of the Resurrection. We are people standing, vigilant.Our heart watches so that God’s work be done on this earth, in our life, in our people. Our brothers need this rectitude so that when hey come into contact with us they find the strength to walk towards God, for we are all called to holiness.

We ask for the grace to be faithful to the prophetic dimension of our life.