Having been rejected by religious leaders (the Pharisees) and ordinary people (His own townsfolk), Christ is now feared and rejected by King Herod, who had earlier murdered Christ’s forerunner, John the Baptist and now believes the hated John has reincarnated in Jesus.

John was a powerful prophet of miraculous birth who lived an austere and rugged life in the desert. John courageously came to Herod and condemned Herod’s marriage to brother’s wife, Herodias, as unlawful. Herod was intrigued by John, but locked John up to silence him.

Herod was a vile and corrupt character: he had an adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife (who was also Herod’s niece); he, perhaps fueled by gluttonous consumption of wine, pridefully made oaths as he lusted over his grand-niece; cowardly, unwilling to break his lust oath,  he beheads the innocent John the Baptist. Grotesquely, he had John the Baptist’s head brought on a platter to his birthday feast. Herod is an anti-Christ.

Awed by Jesus Christ – The Son of God, Christ’s miracles are recognized by one of the greatest men, John the Baptist and even by His enemies. Person of the Trinity, Christ directs the miraculous birth of His kinsmen John the Baptist to the elderly Zechariah and barren Elizabeth.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Islamic terrorists, almost exclusively men, are torturing and beheading Christians in growing numbers and frequency; by some estimates 100,000 Christians are martyred per year. Pray for Christ to give you and all Catholic men to fortitude to  grow in faith, pass the faith on to their children and to defend the Church against Islamic terror.

2) Like the corrupt Herod who held secular power and abused marriage, corrupt secular governments have made homosexual “marriage” legal. As Herod killed John the Baptist for speaking the truth about marriage, secular governments have begun to persecute the Church for her stand on marriage. Pray for Christ’s mercy for all those who oppose His will on marriage and for Him to give you the courage to pronounce the Catholic truth about marriage.

3) Herod is a case study in corrupt character and John the Baptist is a heroic example of saintly character. Reflect on the contrast between Herod and John the Baptist and pray for Christ to continue to help you become a saint.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead