Tuesday 29th of August
“The beheading of John the Baptist”
St Mark tells us that Herod was conflicted. He imprisoned St John the Baptist, who told him that it was wrong for him to marry his brother’s wife. Herod only protected John out of fear, but he was still curious and he liked to listen to John. Herod could have opened himself to John’s message, changed his life and the lives of many of his subjects. We could have known him as a great leader of Israel.
Instead, Herod gave into his lust when he was watching his niece dance and he made a rash promise. Then he followed his pride and his concern for his reputation and he ordered the execution of the man who Jesus recognised as the greatest prophet of the Bible. Herod died in exile from his home country and we know him as the murderer of St John and of Jesus. How do we react when we face situations where we are called to stand up for justice and for our faith? Are we righteous and holy like St John the Baptist, even when it means suffering? Or do we take the easy way out, which will lead to disaster for us in the long run?