Today's Gospel records the sordid details surrounding the death of John the Baptist. A weak despot, in order to save face at his birthday party, is manipulated by evil schemers to bring about the death of "the greatest man born of a woman" Mt.11:11. In the face of this greatest of tragedies what do John's disciples do? Go to Jesus.
I remember visiting friends in crisis just after learning their son had committed suicide. We were all lost in grief as the pain overwhelmed us. Then, out of the blue someone said, "Let's pray". It was like turning a light on in what appeared to be unfathomable darkness. A way forward was suddenly seen. It was still going to be painful but we all knew "the man of Sorrows" was walking along side us.
Jesus is like that. He gives me hope when all appears hopeless. It's a hope I can give others when they are overwhelmed in darkness.
Lord Jesus, the poor when they see You will be glad and God-seeking hearts will revive; for You listen to the needy and do not spurn Your servants in their chains.