I will sing your salvation.-- Psalm 71: see 15
Mass readings: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11 / Mark 6:17-29
Herod does wrong in today's Gospel for a reason that many people do wrong. He fears the opinion of others. He has John the Baptist beheaded, not because of his own hatred, but because he wants to impress the people in his crowd. To Herod, saving face with his guests is worth ignoring his conscience.
Have you ever sinned in order to win approval from a person or group whose admiration you craved? We read plenty about peer pressure among youth leading to drugs and sex. We've also seen what competition in the corporate or athletic worlds will do to individual ethics. Face it: Saying no to sin can make us unpopular or unsuccessful in some people's eyes. It can be humbling. But humility, after all, is what the Lord requires of us.
Prayer: Loving Savior, with Your grace I will never be ashamed of my faith.