Today's Gospel reading from Mark 6 was on the beheading of John the Baptist by King Herod. Jesus, during his trial before Pilate, answered him,"My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handled over to the Jews" (John 18.36). Earlier, when Jesus had been betrayed and was being arrested, one of those who accompanied him drew his sword to defend him. Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its sheath.... Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?" (Matthew 26.52-53).
The main things to notice are: (1) God's kingdom does not belong this world. (2) What God has ordained must come to pass. These explain why John the Baptist died and Jesus got arrested, suffered, and was crucified without direct intervention from God. When we pray for God's help, we must realize that God's ways are not our ways. The Lord could do exactly what we ask for, but his foremost wish is to convert our hearts so that we may convert the world. Yes, our hearts are the "weapons" of his choice.
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