Reflection by Deanna Bartalini Today's Gospel: Mark 6:14-29 “When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him” (Mark 6:20b). Have you ever listened to a teacher or speaker who intrigued you, even if you didn’t fully grasp all that was said? Certainly, while studying as a graduate student, sometimes while reading or listening to someone I admire or want to learn from, there have been those times where I want to hear more and ask questions and get it. Whatever the “it” is. John the Baptist perplexed Herod, yet he liked listening to him. I don't know why, but I will pose two possibilities. He liked to listen to him because John was teaching him. He was giving Herod ideas to ponder and calling him to a place of faith through knowledge. That was me in many courses. The teacher had me spell-bound with the breadth and depth of knowledge that drew me in closer and closer to the truth. John knew the truth and gave it to Herod. And the closer Herod got to it, the more he wanted. And the more he wanted, the more he learned. Which brings to me another reason why John may have perplexed him. His teaching, his truth, was pricking at Herod’s conscience. Herod was confused between what John was telling him and what the world he lived in was telling him. Does that ever happen to you? A homily that makes you consider your lifestyle, a book that points out your desire to have total control, a child’s asking, “Why do you yell at me at all the time?” We all need a John the Baptist who speaks the truth and maybe pricks our conscience a bit when we are too comfortable or set in our ways.


Who is John the Baptist in your life? Do you welcome or avoid what they tell you?


Father, You sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Your Son. Help me to know who in my life helps me to see Jesus, and draw others closer to Him myself. Amen
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