I will sing your salvation. — Psalm 71;(see 15)
Mass Readings: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 / Mark 6:17-29
Appetites, Intellect and Will
I was on pilgrimage in Medjugorje 20 years ago on this feast day when today’s Gospel about the beheading of John the Baptist was read. I remember the homilist recounting the scene of Salome dancing for Herod and then asking for the head of John. The priest said, “What a sick, dysfunctional family!” Indeed, sex, revenge and murder all worked together in Herod’s household, and a good man was killed.
This is what happens when a person’s appetites are allowed to rule his intellect and will. Herod, the Gospel says, was distressed over killing John because he liked to hear his message. But any sense of justice he felt in his heart was overcome by his devotion to his illicit appetites. He kept an unjust promise and murdered a just man.
Prayer: Lord, John the Baptist suffered for Your name; may I be willing to do the same.