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Gospel Mk 6:14-29

King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; That is why mighty powers are at work in him.” Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.” But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.” Herod was the one who had John 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. Herodias 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. His 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?” Her mother 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.

REFLECTION: "The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her."

There is pride of power, possessions, position, intelligence, appearances and bowing to the opinions of what others think of us..

Lucifer, the dazzling beautiful, intelligent angel, betrayed God. He wanted to be God, but, instead he was thrown out of heaven and became the Devil, who continues to prowl this world stealing souls. His was the pride of wanting to be like God.

King Nebuchadnezzar gave himself plaudits, adulations taking irresponsible credit for everything over which he was given reign by God. As chastisement, God took away from the king wisdom, intelligence and power for seven years. God also took away his kingdom and had the King dwell among the beasts, eating grass for seven years. This was the pride of power and God restored King Nebuchadnezzar when he raised his eyes to heaven in praise.

King Herod was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests, he did not wish to break his word to her. His sin was the pride of losing face and pleasing others. So the king had John the Baptist beheaded. King Herod died of chronic renal disease and gangrene.

Governor Quintiamus wanted to possess St Agatha of Sicily (February 5). He had the power, the position and the self love. When she refused him, he had her tortured, stretched on the rack, burned with torches, and whipped. She also had her breasts removed with pincers.

In all these situations, pride was the primary sin. These selfish characteristics still contribute to the fall of man and is the dragnet of the devil to capture God's people.

Sometimes we are afraid of what others might think or say if we defend the teachings of the Church, if we stand for the rights of the unborn, or if we speak up for that which is not right. Nonetheless, we are to remain on the path to God for eternity. Question our motives and our thoughts without mercy. Weigh the consequences of our actions but in all, do with humility what is right.

God Bless You


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