03 August 2019. Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)
I remember one of the usual conversations I have with my mother whenever we go to the doctor for a check-up. She never gets tired of reminding me to take good care of my health. She would always say, “How then can you give yourself totally to the Church if, at a young age, you are already sickly?” Then I would tease her always, “I promise mom, I will take care of myself. I won’t smoke or drink! But I cannot promise you on the junk foods!” Then came to a point where I was advised by my doctor to take maintenance medicines. This instance made me recall of all the reminders my mom used to give me.
In the Gospel, Herod revered John the Baptist, but on his unrestrained passion, he gave in to the request of Herodias to kill John. This brought me to reflect on how do I look and deal with my passions, my desires, and my appetites. Going back to my story, when I had started to take the medicine, I also began to control my food intake and be conscious and aware of the things I eat. That instance made me redirect my appetites to that which is truly important.
Every day, we have to make a lot of decisions. And these decisions, whether big or small, are often driven and affected by our desires, appetites, and passions. Tomorrow’s Gospel challenges me to always go back to the source and the true object of my desire—God. He created us and bestow on us the desire for Him more—the One who is the source of everything true, good, and beautiful. Whenever I make a decision, I must see to it that I would always reconnect, reflect, and redirect my desires to God. Reconnect to Him through prayers and surrendering to His will and trusting in His loving providence. Reflect on the repercussions of the decisions in my life if I am truly free from my selfish desires and free for God’s love. And finally, to redirect my passions to Him by remembering His tremendous and merciful love for me.
The Gospel Today
Matthew 14: 1 – 12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.