Read Hebrews 13:1-8, Ps. 27:1,3,5,8-9, Mark 6:14-29
“King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, ‘John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason, these powers are at work in him.’” (Mark 6:14)
There is a line in one of Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth which I found quite inspirational. Macbeth after having become guilty of murder heard a knock on the door and said: “Where is that knocking coming from? What’s happening to me, that I’m freighted of every noise? (looking at his hands). Whose hands are these? Ha! They’re plucking out my eyes. Will all the water in the ocean wash this blood from my hands? No, instead my hands will stain the seas scarlet, turning green waters red.”
Dear friends, even the most hardened criminal suffers from guilt. There are things we do that we may never be able to forgive ourselves for. In our Gospel passage this morning, Herod tries to convince himself that Jesus Christ is the resurrected version of John the Baptist whom he killed by offering his head as payment for a little girl’s dance.
From the moment this happened, Herod was never himself, his mind was never at rest, the words of John the Baptist kept haunting him about his adulterous union with his brother’s wife and he kept wishing he could turn back the hands of the clock. Hearing of Jesus’ fame became some sort of consolation for him.
Whether we like it or not, sin robs us of our peace of mind. It is always more profitable to avoid sin than to live with the guilt. The pain of avoiding sin is brief but the pain of a guilty conscience lasts an entire lifetime.
The book of Hebrews this morning mentions certain sins that we could regret forever; unkindness to strangers, indifference to prisoners, defiling the marriage bed, love of money, and lack of contentment. As the book of Hebrews tells us: It is only when we avoid sin that we can confidently say: “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?”
In other words, living a sinful life puts us in perpetual bondage – a life of fear. Because of what we have done in the past, we lose confidence in God’s protection because we feel that either God is punishing us already or he is planning to punish us in the near future.
Sin even makes us live in the fear of people because we never can tell who will expose our secrets or who will try to retaliate for the evils we had done to them in the past. Dear friends, it is more profitable to avoid sin than to live with the guilt.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, strengthen my resolve to live righteously. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of week 4 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hebrews 13:1-8, Ps. 27:1,3,5,8-9, Mark 6:14-29).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu