Friday of the 4th Week of the Year

Mk 6:14-29

The Death of John the Baptist


Daniel Alleghiere, an Italian writer wrote: “The true test of courage is not to die but to live.” Why so? To die, to give one’s life, now, totally, once and for all, is to suffer only for this moment. For instance, dying through the sword or by the gun, by the stake or musketry, by electric chair or by lethal injection. This is hard thing to do. It is heroic. Death is sure and swift.

However, to live, to give one’s life, one’s blood, one little drop by one little drop days on end, in the words of San Lorenzo Ruiz, “to die a thousand deaths,” is a much harder thing to do. This is more heroic. Death is slow but sure.

Few of us are given the opportunity to be so courageous as to give our life in a once and for all manner, like the first Christians had when they were fed to the beasts or others who were murdered at the stake or whatever. But most of us have the common chance to be courageous to live every minute of our lives, 365 days a year. Living our lives fully and faithfully day in and day out calls for a lot of heroism on our part. This is martyrdom pure and simple.

The word “martyr” comes from the Greek word, “martyrein,” which means, “to give witness to.” Giving witness to our faith, being true to our following of Christ countless of times everyday but every night is what is expected of us. This is hard. And so we pray and beseech the Lord to give us the strength, the guidance and the assistance that we ne true witnesses, real martyrs of our faith. (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Exactly ten days from now we’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day again. It’s interesting to know that the etymology of the name Valentine comes from the Latin word, valere, which means “strength and worth.” To look for one’ Valentine is to look for a strong and worthy person. “Be my Valentine” means, be my strength, be my worth.

Today’s gospel gives us a glimpse of two types of person. On one hand, we have John the Baptist, a strong and credible person. John the Baptist is worthy to be our Valentine. He was not afraid to tell the truth. In fact, he was beheaded because he said the right thing – that Herod was an immoral life. He was living with his brother’s wife. On the other hand, there is Herod, a type of a person who is weak and no backbone, no worth at all. Herod cannot be our Valentine.

Herod had a very shallow character. He was moved by the external. He was so enchanted by the performance of Herodias’ daughter. It tickled his insatiable craving for sensual pleasure. Following his impulse, he promised to give half of his kingdom to her. The girl asked her mother. Herodias opted for John’s head instead. Herod admired John, he didn’t intend to kill him but because of his perverted sense of ‘word of honor’ he yielded to the request to bring John’s head on a platter. It caused John’s life.

Beware of the many Herods that surround us. Look instead for Johns. Better imitate John the Baptist, strong and fearless. (Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


Marcos 6:14-29. Aduna ba kitay kaisog sa pagbarog sa kamatuoran? Si Juan gipatay tungod sa iyang pagbarog sa kamatuoran. Iyang giingnan si Hari Herodes nga ang iyang pagpakigpuyo kang Herodias usa ka dakong sala tungod kay kini asawa man sa iyang igsoon. Dili matarong para sa usa ka tawo, bisan og hari siya, ang pagpanapaw. Human sa daghang katuigan, ang espiritu ni Juan nabuhi og balik sa usa ka tawo nga ginganlag Thomas More. Sama kang Juan, gipatay siya tungod sa iyang pagsulti sa tinuod. Dili sakto para kang Hari Henry VIII ang pagpakasal kang Anne Boleyn tungod kay aduna siyay buhing asawa nga si Katerina. Kining ebanghelyo magpahinumdum kanato sa kadaotan sa pagpanapaw ug sa atong katungdanan sa pagsaway ning maong buhat (Fr. Abet Uy – Source:


FRIDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – HEBREO 13:1-8. Unsa man ang angay’ng palabihon, ang kwarta o ang relasyon? Dili ikalimod nga adunay mga tawo nga ma-busy pag-ayo sa pagpangita’g kwarta ug mahutdan na og panahon para sa pamilya. Aduna usay uban nga makaako pagpakig-away sa mga kaigsoonan ug kahigalaan aron lang makaangkon og mas dako nga kabtangan. Dili kini maayo. Ang Sulat ngadto sa mga Hebreo nag-ingon: “Ayaw higugmaa ang salapi; igo na ang anaa kaninyo”. Kini magdasig kanato nga makontento sa mga gasa sa Dios, sama sa pamilya, mga higala, ug sa maayong panglawas. Ang kwarta dili angay’ng palabihon tungod kay dili man kini makagarantiya sa tinuod nga kalipay. Gusto kita makakwarta’g daghan tungod kay mahadlok kita nga mahutdan. Apan dili ba diay kita mosalig sa gisaad sa Dios: “Dili ko gayod kamo pasagdan ni talikdan”? Posted by Abet Uy



Thursday, February 4, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 6:14-29. UNSA MAY ATONG MAKUHA SA PAGBAROG SA KAMATUORAN? Si Juan gipatay tungod sa iyang paglaban sa kamatuoran. Iyang giingnan si Hari Herodes nga ang iyang pagpakigpuyo kang Herodias usa ka dakong sala tungod kay kini asawa man sa iyang igsoon. Dili matarong para sa usa ka tawo, bisan og hari siya, ang pagpanapaw. Human sa daghang katuigan, ang espiritu ni Juan nabuhi og balik sa usa ka tawo nga ginganla’g Thomas More. Sama kang Juan, gipatay siya tungod sa iyang pagsulti sa tinuod. Gisaway niya ang pagpakasal ni King Henry VIII kang Anne Boleyn tungod kay aduna man siyay buhing asawa nga si Katerina. Sa pagbarog sa kamatuoran, si Juan ug si Thomas More gipatay, apan nadawat nila ang dakong ganti sa langit. Nindot ang panultihon: “People can’t change the truth but the truth can change people.” Posted by Abet Uy



My Reflection: There’s always a price attached for speaking out against wrongdoing. For example in a family setting, if a wife notices that her husband is playing around with fire. Of course the wife has to call the attention or even confront her philandering husband. But this kind of boldness sometimes comes with a heavy price. Either there will be conflict in their marriage or it may even lead to estrangement. But even if there’s a heavy price to pay we still must speak-out otherwise we are consenting to what is wrong and immoral.

John the Baptist paid a very heavy price for speaking-out against immorality; he was beheaded for speaking the truth. Such is the irony sometimes of life. We speak the truth yet we still suffer for doing so. But how could we correct a wrongdoing if we would not denounce it? True followers of Jesus are those who are not afraid to speak out regardless of what the consequence. And John the Baptist is one of the best if not the best model of how it is to become a true follower of Jesus.

Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

How would we react if there shall come a time that we pass through this kind of test? (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



John is executed: John quickly vanished from the picture after Jesus’ Baptism. The immediate cause of his disappearance was his criticism of Herod (Mk 6:17-18).

Commenting on Herod’s attitude toward John, a first-century Jewish historian, Josephus says: Herod feared that John’s preaching might spark a revolt among the people….. Moved by this fear, he arrested John and dispatched him in chains to Machaerus….. There, John was executed.”

Today Machaerus lies in ruins high up on the eastern cliffs of the Dead Sea. To old stone fortress sits on a lonely ridge, surrounded by deep ravines. The rare adventurer who climbs up to the desolate spot can still see the forbidding dungeons that once held unfortunate prisoners like John.

Why do so many good people die tragic deaths?

“Lord, whatsoever this day may bring, Thy name be praised,” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) – Mark Link SJ, Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays 1987:43


A Different Superhero: Who is your favorite superhero? (Homily for IBED Lagao Mass 2015.02.06)

Superman? He can burn things with his heat vision!

Spiderman? He can climb walls of tall buildings!

Super Kidlat? He can be as fast as lightning!

Darna? She can fly and help people in need after swallowing a stone!

Powerful, aren’t they? They do things ordinary people can’t do. But wait, there’s SOMEONE more powerful than all the superheroes combined. He is 100% man and 100% God.

He made the lame walk and the blind see, healed the sick, raised Lazarus from the dead, turned five loaves of bread and two fish into thousands, changed water into wine, calm the stormy sea, plus more. Jesus’ powers are unlimited (Mine: kung uso ngayon ang unli-call, unli-text, unlimited rice, unlimited juice, this unlimited power, unlimited grace and love of Jesus were available since the beginning of Christianity). He could even forgive sin! Yes, Jesus is the only ONE who could care for both our body and soul.

(Mine: And Jesus was the Superhero of Saint John the Baptist whom King Herod arrested in today’s gospel because Saint John reprimanded the King of his immoral act. And what is the immoral act he did? He was living in with the wife of his brother.)

(Mine: You know if we are true Christians, there are things we should accept and things we should reject. We should accept Jesus and His Compassion, Care for others, Commitment and His teachings. We should reject violence and immorality. That is why Saint John rejected immorality by telling King Herod of his immoral act and because of this, he was arrested and eventually beheaded.)

Go ahead, admire superhero, but let your heart have the One who can forgive sin – only Jesus. (Grace D. Chong, Zoom! 180 Devos for Kids, Makati: Church Strengthening Ministry, Inc. 2005: no. 36)


Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

By Daryl Jones

Guest Writer – I’ve found that when most people ask this question, there’s a hidden personal pronoun in it.  It usually is “Why do [you God, let…] bad things happen to people?

It’s an accusation we bring to God, sometimes because we don’t understand, but most usually when we are experiencing an acute pain in our life…a relational hurt; a physical problem or illness; maybe even a painful circumstance, like being falsely accused, blamed, fired, or generally put upon.

You get the idea.  Now, let’s take the most gut-wrenching example, the death of a child, and see if together we can’t make better sense of why God would allow the bad to exist.

Why would God allow that?  Why would God allow a child to lose his or her little life?  From God’s perspective, that life is not lost.  God is able to restore to that child their life, so no loss is suffered on the part of the child.  Life is not lost to the One who can restore it.

What about the grief that parents and family experience?  In our loss, the presence of God is available for us to experience His strength, His comfort, His sustaining love and assurance in the face of the evil that exists.  God sustains those who grieve for those He calls to Himself.

What about the skeptics, who wonder how a loving God could allow such a thing?  The taking home of a child to be with God can awaken in the most hardened of skeptics the moral reality of God. In asking “How could you God?”, it presupposes a moral authority who chooses the “hows” of life, the “hows” that it works by.

So whether it’s the child, family or skeptic…all have a witness of the reality of God.  The existence of evil points to the reality of a God who can overcome even the bad.  And we’d want no less a God.

My hope is that in asking this question, you will find His the comfort of His presence breaking through the hurt to reveal the love of His Son Jesus right where you are.



Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

Psalm 73:2-3 “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

Psalm 73:12 “This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.”

Ecclesiastes 9:2 says “All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.”

Ecclesiastes 9:11 “The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise nor wealth to the brilliant nor favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Psalm 73:12“till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.”  and Psalm 73:27  “Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.”



QUESTION: Why does God let bad things happen to good people?

JUAN SAYS: We are also baffled, trying to find the answers to the little girl’s question. We too are asking the same question. Why does God let bad things happen to good people, to the innocent, to the helpless? But as we searched for the answers, we then thought of a bigger question: Why does God let good things happen to bad people?   We can only wish that the universe works that way, that we can comprehend how God works in many of our lives. But to the many who have the privileges, who are learned, let this be a wake up call. It is not enough that we shook the hands of the pope, nor that we had taken selfies while being inside the MOA arena, like being there was your ticket to heaven. It is not enough. A young girl cried to the pope, and we all could hear the ahhhhsss in the background as the pope embraced her. Now what do we do next? Hopefully we don’t just go back to our daily lives and be absorbed with our daily problems of what to put on social media as our OOTD, nor what to eat so we can use the #foodporn. Children are getting abandoned, raped and forced into prostitution, and all we can think about is posting our selfies on instagram? How shallow have we become.   A Commentary by William Clough   Why does God “let” bad things happen to people?   Simple. God is portrayed as a male authoritarian figure by religions because that’s how people (human beings) can understand a concept that is so far out of their minds that if they have nothing to relate it to, there is no way for them to be able to fully comprehend it.   If this thing or being or whatever label we put on it is powerful enough to create planets and universes, how then can we understand it?   We can’t even understand the fact that we are destroying the planet we live on every single day. We are so out of touch with ourselves that we value things and use people and we go to church on Sunday for a chance to dress up and show off our fancy clothes, yet largely forget everything the priest or pastor said by Monday morning.   Consumer capitalism has us going to church to pray and be with “GOD,” yet in reality, most people treat things and famous faces like “GODs” (celebrities, money, cars, houses, the wealthy etc.) and people as objects (victims of war, total strangers, squatters, vagabonds, the guy who takes out your trash or the maid that sweeps your floor).   How so? If you offered the public a chance to win a million dollars or a chance to feel the love and appreciation from helping a person in need, what do you think will get a better response? How many people would sign up for each one? The answer is obvious.   Maybe the question the young girl should have asked is “why do so many good Catholics flock to church for a chance to feel holy and kiss up to the Pope, yet treat each other like shit on daily basis and typically not care about people like her because they don’t offer them a sense of material value in return?”   News has spread around that police were locking up street kids in filthy conditions, beating them and pretty much de-humanizing them just so the pope wouldn’t see an embarrassing reality. I’m willing to bet that the police who locked these kids up and the politician who gave the order were attending the


THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! A catechist was teaching a group of young kids on the importance of keeping quiet at Mass. The next day, the local bishop made a surprise visit and sat in her class. The teacher called out her smartest student and asked, “Why is it important to keep quiet when the bishop is celebrating Mass?” The student replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

In today’s Gospel, we read about how King Herod had John the Baptist arrested, imprisoned, chained and later beheaded. And yet, the king secretly enjoyed listening to the prophet. The Gospel says, “When he heard him speak, he was very much disturbed; yet he felt the attraction of his words.” There lies the paradox — and the problem. Herod was attracted but did not want the disturbance that the Baptist’s words bring.

I remember a comment posted by a friend on the Facebook wall of a priest-friend who is a very talented and gifted speaker. It went: “I so love Father! When he celebrates the Mass, it’s like being in a comedy bar!” If entertainment is the only thing we are looking for when we go to Mass, it may not really be God’s Word we are looking forward to hearing.

In a question-and-answer portion of a vigil with the youth, Pope Francis was asked, “Why is it that oftentimes I find the Mass too boring?” Pope Francis replied, “Because we focus too much on ourselves.”

To the prophets reading this, remember: It is not about you but about God’s Word. It is not your word, your opinion or your world view that will save, but Christ’s. You are not there to entertain but to proclaim. Do not water down the message of the Gospel. Do not empty Christ’s words of the power to disturb and change hearts.

To the listeners reading this, remember: The Mass is not about you but about receptivity to God’s Word. Do not shy away from being disturbed by God, for that disturbance is the only prelude to genuine and lasting peace.Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: What do you look forward to whenever you go to Mass —entertainment or holy disturbance?

When I am disturbed, comfort me, O Lord. When I am too comfortable, disturb me. Amen.



GRACE TO FORGIVE – So Herodias harbored a grudge against John… – Mark 6:19

“Mama, you should have another baby,” Danica kidded her mom before she left for school. That morning, her parents received a dreadful phone call.

Danica died in a road accident caused by a reckless jeepney driver. When my friend rushed to the hospital, she saw her husband  quietly crying in a corner of the emergency room. He looked at her and said, “As early as now,let us find the grace to forgive.” My friend broke down.

During the wake, she told me that they decided not to press charges and instead forgive the driver. “Because we have been forgiven by Christ, we chose to forgive him, too,” she said.

Unlike Herod and Herodias whose resentment led them to kill John, my friend’s gesture of forgiveness has inspired many to get closer to God.

Just recently, I bumped into this couple at the mall. I was ecstatic to see the husband carrying a little girl in his arms. With tears in her eyes, my friend told me that God has blessed them with another child.

Just like what Danica had wished for them the day she died. Marisa Aguas (

Pope Francis Says: “Faith likewise offers the possibility of forgiveness, which so often demands time and effort, patience and commitment.”

Heavenly Father, help me to forgive. Not by my own efforts but only by Your grace can I do this.


Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 4th Week of the Year

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