Gospel Mk 6:17-29
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
The Gospel of the Lord! Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!
This is a very appropriate Gospel for our times. What put John in prison and caused him to be beheaded. Speaking about marriage and what was right and what was wrong. John didn’t judge King Herod, he didn’t condemn him. John just said it was wrong for Herod to have his (Herod’s brothers wife). Herod didn’t like that and wanted to kill John. Even though Herod didn’t like John for what he said he liked to listen to John.
It also says that the daughter of Herodias (Herod’s wrongful wife) came in and preformed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests (men). I am guessing this was a very immodest dance, that the men enjoyed. Again very much like today. When Herod promised her whatever she wanted, she wasn’t able to decide for herself. She went and asked her mom, and did her mothers bidding. While Herod didn’t want to honor her request, he didn’t have the strength to say “anything but the life of a person” therefor John was beheaded.
Back to John; John was willing to accept his path of heralding the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Prior to his arrest, he proclaimed the coming of the anointed one. One of my favorite sayings of John the Baptist recorded in Holy Scripture is: “He must increase, I must decrease”. Jn. 3:30. Isn’t that our life!? Reminding myself and asking Our Lord, Our Lady and the Saints to help me so that I can let Christ increase in me and I decrease! That way it is Christ working in me and Christ that others encounter!
Also this Feast falls just before Labor Day weekend in the United States. Again a reminder that John was laboring to prepare the way of the Lord. My ministry and the call to live Consecrated Life are the labors God has called me to; to continue to growing, spreading and care of God’s Kingdom!
Have a Blessed weekend everyone!
Sorry I am going to have to learn how to rotate my pictures on this new system my blog has! It is not a relic of John the Baptist, but of Mother May’s veil!