The Gospel gives us a litany of spectacular evils.
Herod was spectacularly fatuous in the party he threw for himself, in his appreciation for his step-daughter’s bawdiness, in his caving in to his respect for his fatuous guests.
Salome was spectacular in her vanity and in her disregard for John’s untouchable holiness.
Herodias was spectacular in her spite.
In pleasing contrast, the first reading presents us with a litany of down home goodness. Paul compliments Thessalonica’s Christians for their fraternal charity, going on then to encourage them to be even more loving.
He recommends the down home beauty of lives of tranquility, of our not meddling in the affairs of other’s, and of our working with our hands.
When you are among people, all you hear them talking about are acts of such spectacular evils as shootings, of abandoning refugees to die, and of official corruption.
We should buck up, and give more attention to the down home goodness inspired by the love of God all around us.