Sunday, August 19, 2018

hEROD AND jOHNWhen Herod’s  daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother who hated John for accusing her of adultery, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” Herod was deeply distressed; yet because of his public oath made in front of his guests, he could not want to refuse her.  Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison. – Mark 6:22-27

In the months to follow, King Herod would be haunted by the spectre of John the Baptist returning …

Herod had ambivalent feelings about John … he feared yet he was fascinated with him.  Herod had him thrown in prison to silence John’s criticism of him, but I do not believe Herod actually wanted him dead for fear he might be known as an executioner of a holy man.  Maybe it was all the wine he drank at this grand feast that gave rise to his foolish vow he made to his daughter, but his own boastful ego trapped him in a dilemma that overrode his better judgment.  Out-of-control egos often end up in self-inflicted downfalls.

Overblown pride can make fools us all.  Overblown pride can entangle us in unintended consequences, leading to tragic outcomes for both ourselves and others.  Overblown pride leads a soul into a life of hollow hypocrisy.

Christ emphasized that humility is the pathway to both wisdom and integrity of life, yet time after time … overblown pride keeps returning to deceive us.

Always in Christ’s Service,

Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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