Gospel – 8/29/20 – Nark 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.
Why do you do things? Do you think about it? Do you measure it? How will you look? How will you be thought of?
Or do you just do it because it is the right thing to do?
Today, we see the example of both.
Everything Herod does is thought out. Unless, it is something he wants in his lecherous world. Herodias is part of his lechery. His desire for his niece, Salome, is part of his lechery. Neither of those things does he weigh.
But John the Baptist – what he does is because it is right – even if it causes his death, he will do what is right.
This bothers Herod. He doesn’t understand John. But, he likes him and likes to listen to him. He even arrests him to keep him safe from those who would harm him. (see Herodias)
But since Herod has no integrity to his decision making he is easily trapped by the evil in others. In every day life, he is a pitiful person who happens to be a king.
Today, he gets trapped by his Pride and does something – not out of right or wrong – but how he will look if he doesn’t.
Evil will find our weaknesses and Pride is definitely a weakness.
We must stand for right – or we’ll always be wrong.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…