“Herod was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.”
Words from today’s gospel, according to Mark. (Mark 6: 14-29)
Yesterday, Jesus sent his apostles to preach repentance.
Today, we see the heavy price for doing such a thing.
John the Baptist is beheaded for speaking out against a personal sin of someone in power.
Mark is purposeful in showing that Herod “feared” John, and “liked to listen to him.”
Something in Herod’s heart welcomed and respected Truth.
Because Truth penetrates.
Truth resonates even the hardest of hearts.
No matter how far Herod was from living according to God’s plan, he still had an innate orientation toward what is right and just.
Herod did not want to put John to death, but he had made a blind promise, and couldn’t go back on his word.
Herod chose his reputation and credibility over another person’s life.
It’s not easy to miss the Herods of our world, who choose reputation over Truth.
Sometimes they stare us right in the mirror.
We all have a little John in us, but if we’re honest sometimes we have a little Herod in us too.
But the more we listen to Truth rather than the world the more we change.
The more we change, the more free we become to be what God has planned for us.
To choose the Truth that constantly echoes in our hearts.