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All Issues > Volume 13, Issue 5

<< Friday, August 29, 1997 >> Beheading of St. John the Baptizer
Jeremiah 1:17-19
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Psalm 71 Mark 6:17-29
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"Herodias harbored a grudge against him for this and wanted to kill him." —Mark 6:19

Possibly the only one at Herod's birthday who wanted John beheaded was Herodias. Herod didn't want to kill John (Mk 6:20), and Herodias' daughter didn't think to ask for John's head until her mother put her up to it (Mk 6:24). Moreover, most of the people at Herod's birthday party may have thought it wrong to behead John. Even people with warped consciences can see the evil in the act of putting a freshly cut human head on a platter and parading it around a cocktail party.

One person can get away with committing an atrocity which no one else accepts when everyone is paralyzed to do anything about it. Herod was paralyzed by pride. Herodias' daughter may have been trapped by confusion or fear. Herod's guests were paralyzed by their egos, fears, or political ambitions.

Babies in the womb are murdered. Neighborhoods become paranoid through violence. Refugees are left to starve. Thousands upon thousands of people are annihilated through war. Yet hardly anyone wants abortion, violence, starvation, or war. These things happen because a thousand paralyzed Herods and party guests won't stop one Herodias. Conversely, one free, bold John the Baptizer will ultimately stop thousands of Herodiases. The Lord commands us: "Stand up and tell them all that I command you" (Jer 1:17).

Prayer: Father, make me fearless, unmanipulatable, pure, and free.
Promise: "They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." —Jer 1:19
Praise: "There was a man named John sent by God, who came as a witness to testify to the Light, so that through Him all men might believe" (Jn 1:6-7).
(For related teaching, order our leaflet, How to Stop Abortion.)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 13, Issue 5
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