Today’s Gospel story from Matthew 6:17-29, is about the beheading of John the Baptist. Every time I read it I think that in today’s society, no one would ask for the head of another person if promised a request from authority would they? I am not so sure anymore as our society has twisted evil into good and consequently, good into evil.
So, a birthday banquet for the king, very important leaders of Galilee, a lot of alcohol, a seductive dancer, a drunken promise to give the seductive dancer anything up to half of the king’s kingdom, a wife and mother harboring a grudge and a prideful king that could not say no to an unjust request for fear of looking weak. The scene is set and as we know, the victim is John the Baptist.
John spoke the truth. He told King Herod that it was unlawful that he married his brother Philip’s wife Herodias. Even though the truthful words of John left Herod perplexed, he liked to listen to John. Are not we all seeking to listen and know the truth? Herodias, who was Herod’s unlawful wife, harbored a grudge against John and wanted to have him killed. It all worked out for her at the banquet as her daughter Salome, after her deadly dance, used Herod’s promise to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter at the request of her mother. John’s head was brought to her on a platter.
I am not sure how the crowd reacted. Were they numb? Was there disbelief? Did anyone speak up? Did they celebrate? How about today. Let’s take the killing of innocent children through legal abortion. Are we numb? Is there disbelief? Are we speaking up? Are we celebrating a woman and man’s right to abort? Maybe evil times have really not changed.