Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
At the end of the week, we hear the conclusions of two of the famed predecessors of Jesus, John the Baptist and King David. In the reading from Sirach, we are privy to hear one of the eulogies praising the life of King David. In it, David’s youth is remember by his defeating Goliath, his kingship is praised because he subdued Israel’s enemies (with God’s help), and his humility is praised through the numerous psalms of praise he offered back to God.
The Gospel passage appears as a flashback detailing how John the Baptist’s death (celebrated on August 29) arose out of revenge against the prophet. Overall, both readings reminisce and praise these men as leaders. Like Pilate, we hear of another ruler who gave into the demands of the people, rather than their natural instinct to protect another human life. The Gospel acclamation summarized their works, “blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart, and yield a harvest through perseverance.” How can our actions today and our future actions lead other people to Christ?