8 Prompted by her mother Herodias, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
9 King Herod was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given,
10 and he had John beheaded in the prison.Matthew 14:1-12
Today’s Bible Quote of the Day Reflections
The Gospel Reading today is reminding us of the death of St. John the Baptist. He was the one who prepared the way of the coming of our saviour Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist always spoke the truth about the Kingdom of God and how people should live in order to inherit it. He never shied away from confronting someone who went against the Will of God. This is what put him into trouble with Herodias.
Herodias was the wife of Philip. Philip was the brother of King Herod. Now, Herodias divorced Philip and went to get married to King Herod who had also divorced his wife Phasaelis, the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea. It was this proposed marriage that John the Baptist publicly critisized to the chagrin of Herodias.
She haboured a grudge against John the Baptist and wanted him to be killed. But King Herod wouldn’t do just that because he regarded John as a righteous man and also feared the people who also regarded John as a prophet. So he had him put into prison until this day when there was a banquet at the Kings Palace.
Salome, Herodias’ daughter, performed a dance which made King Herod pulsate with joy. He boasted of how he was proud of her and that he could give her anything she requested for. By sheer coincidence, she went to ask her mother what she would like her to ask for as a reward and as fate would have it, Herodias, like a shrewd serpent, got her opportunity to strike and eliminate John the Baptist once and for all. She demanded for the Head of John the Baptist on a platter.
King Herod though, liked John the Baptist and liked to hear him talk. But due to his stature as a king, who wouldn’t go against his own word, he had no other option but to fulfill his promise. John the Baptist, a man of God, full of honour, was beheaded in prison and his head was brought to Herodias.
That is how Saint John the Baptist met his untimely death. But he met his death doing the right thing which was to defend the Will of God. How we wish all of us would meet our death defending the Word of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, just like John the Baptist and all the other martyrs.
Prayer: Oh God, you gave St. Elizabeth, in her old age, the gift of a son, St. John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus to begin His ministry here on earth. May we, Dear God, energetically profess our Faith in You, and help us to lead others to Your Way, Your Truth, and Your Eternal Life. Amen.