Jesus frightens Herod who believes Jesus is the murdered John the Baptist back from the dead. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Courage sho he can heroically defend the innocent against violence and by pursuing the Virtue of Chasity so he can credibly uphold the truth about Marriage.

Liturgy

17th Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Mt 14:1-12

Commentary

Having been rejected by the Jewish religious leaders, the Pharisees, and His own townsfolk of Nazareth, Jesus is now feared and rejected by King Herod, who had earlier murdered Jesus’ chosen forerunner, John the Baptist, and now Herod absurdly believes the hated John has reincarnated in Jesus. 

John the Baptist, a virile ascetic who preached in the rugged desert, practiced mortification of the mind and body (including fasting) to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom (Jn 3:29), a sign of John’s reverence for marriage. John courageously came to Herod and condemned Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife, Herodias, as unlawful. Herod was intrigued by John, but locked John up in a dank prison cell to silence his condemnation of Herod’s incestuous marriage.  

Herod, whose name ironically means, “hero-like”, was an antihero, a man with a vile and corrupt character: he had an adulterous and incestuous relationship with his brother’s wife, Herodias, who was also Herod’s niece; he, perhaps fueled by gluttonous consumption of wine, pridefully made ridiculous oaths while he lusted over the young daughter of Herodias, his grand-niece, as she seductively danced; cowardly, unwilling to break his lust oath to grant to his grand-niece anything she desired, he beheaded the innocent John the Baptist. Grotesquely, he had John the Baptist’s head brought on a platter to his birthday feast for the amusement of the evil Herodias and his guests. Herod is an anti-Christ who will collude with Pilate to crucify Jesus during Passion Week. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by Jesus, Son of Man, who causes great anxiety in powerful and evil men because of His Divine Presence, Power and miraculous acts: Herod the Great is so fearful of the newborn Jesus that he “Slaughters the Innocents”; Herod the Tetrarch (one of Herod the Great’s sons) is deeply troubled by Jesus, and His forerunner, John the Baptist.

Heroically defend the innocent against violence

Realize: Like the evil murderous Herod, governments, some religions, political activists and so called “social justice” movements, continue to use intimidation, coercion, physical and property attacks, violence, terror and even murder to promote their evil agendas in society and to persecute and silence Christ’s Holy Catholic Church; every Catholic man is called to courageously confront evil violent acts against the innocent and vulnerable. 

Believe: Reflect upon The 5th Commandment against Intentional Homicide (CCC 2268-2269) and the need to Respect Bodily Integrity (CCC 2297-2298).

Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me build the Virtue of Courage (a part of Fortitude) so I am always prepared to courageously and heroically defend every person against unjust attacks and to defend the Holy Catholic Church against violence and persecution.

Seek Chasity and uphold the truth about Marriage

Realize: Like the corrupt Herod who held secular power and abused marriage, corrupt secular governments have made widespread divorce and homosexual “marriage” legal in many places, seducing many to believe that these choices are not mortal sins; as Herod killed John the Baptist for speaking the truth about marriage, secular governments, powerful companies, and activists now openly persecute men who speak the truth about marriage, through ridicule, censorship, legal attacks and by destroying their livelihoods. 

Believe: Reflect upon Marriage in God’s Plan (CCC 369-373, 383, 1601-1620, 1655-1658).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Chastity, help me build the Virtue of Chastity (a part of Temperance) so I persevere in my battle against sexual sin (and, if married, to faithfully keep my own marriage vows) and am thus prepared to heroically defend God’s plan for marriage and courageously withstand vile and violent persecution, like John the Baptist, for speaking the truth about marriage.