First Reading: Heb 13:1-8; Psalm: 27. R. v. 1a; Gospel: Mk 6:14-29
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Living an undisciplined life can be very dangerous. It exposes us to a lot of danger. If we are undisciplined, we can become vulnerable to the mercy of others. When we do things without careful consideration, like talking or acting impulsively; we can easily get into trouble. If we wished to avoid problems in life, discipline is indispensable. If Herod did not allow the pleasure of eating and drinking to overwhelm him, he would not make the careless promise, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” We must be careful of what we say in our moments of pleasure.
When we get into trouble due to our carelessness, we may not always be lucky to be at the mercy of good people. Moral character is not defined by appearances. Those who surround us may not have a good moral character to spare us in our vulnerable moments. In fact, there are people who are actually waiting to take advantage of our mistakes. This is why we should be disciplined. Herod’s careless promise exposed him to the monstrous plan of Herodias and her daughter. Herodias was a woman with bad moral character who was not only wicked but also a polluter of the innocent. She took advantage of her daughter’s indecisiveness and had John killed.
If we saw ourselves in Herod, we must learn discipline to avoid getting into trouble. Because no one gains anything through careless living. If we can identify ourselves with Herodias’ daughter whose indecisiveness permitted this crime; we must learn to be decisive and to build a good moral character so as to defend what is good and reject whatever is evil. And if we are more like Herodias, we pray God to convert our hearts. And we should learn that the evil we do corrupts the mind of the young; and no wickedness goes unpunished. In the final analysis, we can save ourselves lots of troubles when we learn discipline.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus Christ, guide our thoughts, words and actions from the selfishness that pervades us. Amen.