Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jul 05, 2012 | Comments (0)

Pentecost VII Mark 6:14-29

"Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him."

This parable is the difference between what you think rationally and how you think spiritually.

The Rational head can only understand the seen.

The Spiritual Heart understands the Power of the unseen Presence.

This writing is not to point out what the rational head understands. Anyone can do that. It is to point out what the rational head does not understand and therefore misses.

We are dealing with a terrible man. What he did to John the Baptist was beyond understanding, excuse or immorality.  It was a totally black act. It was to Herod that Pilate sent Jesus on the last day. Herod could have freed Jesus. It was obvious he passed the chance up. But what were we to expect from this ruthless, immoral, egocentric person. It was foolish to expect anything different. The rational preacher loves John because he stood up to the political in the face of immorality and pronounced judgment.

Let us remember John was the one who proclaimed Jesus to be the Lamb of God who took away the Sin of the World.

John did not say "sins" but "Sin". Many miss this New Testament definition of "Sin". "Sin" is missing the mark. It is separation from God. It is the cause of all "sins". Sins are symptoms of this separation. When in the Presence of the Love of God, one does not want to commit "sins". We need to stop spending time on trying to take away the sins of the World. We need to have disciples who know that the Power of being in the Grace Presence is God's way of bringing Peace on the earth.

The key here is that Herod heard John and he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. Rational understanding wants to know what John said to Him. Spiritual understanding knew this Holy man intended to bring Herod into God's Peace Presence. It was the only chance to change this man's life and culture of evil. Rational understanding cannot know this because it cannot know the power of the Presence. By becoming conscious, not rational, one can experience this Power to change lives. I have seen it in my counseling. I met with a couple on their way to the divorce lawyer. They had a list of grievances toward each other. We spent perhaps twenty minutes speaking of being in the Presence. I then asked them what their issues were. To our amazement they had none. It does not mean people have not experienced this Presence. It does mean that those who can enable others to do so are few and far between. They then need to be able to teach others how to consciously sense the grace Presence in all. The preaching of judgment to bring out guilt and get people to stop sinning and to obey the Law has not worked. If Jesus was to take away the "sins" of the world, He did not do a very good job of it. His way is to bring people into the Presence through His Spirit.  It is grace, not judgment.  What is your way?

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