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February 5, 2021

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DG BookGospel: Mk 6:14–29*
(...) Herod had ordered John to be arrested, and had had him bound and put in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his
brother Philip. Herod had married her, and John had told him, “It is not right for you to live with your brother’s wife.” So Herodias
held a grudge against John; and wanted to kill him, but she could not, because Herod

respected John.(...) Herodias had her chance on Herod’s birthday, (...) On that occasion the daughter of Herodias came in and danced;
and she delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want and I will give it to you.” (...)She went out
and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” The mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried to the king and made
her request, “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist, here and now, on a dish.” The king was very displeased, but he would
not refuse in front of his guests because of his oaths. So he sent one of the bodyguards with orders to bring John’s head. He went and
beheaded John in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl. And the girl gave it to her mother. (...)




Herod is a good case study on how leaders should behave. They should not promise
anything when they are very happy. They might pledge something that is
more than what they could usually provide. And being stuck to the promise, they
have no recourse but to fulfill it even at the expense of their peace of mind. Thus
Herod is now haunted by the ghost of John whom he beheaded because of
his promise to the daughter of Herodias. Herodias had an ax to grind against John
because he criticized her living together with her brother-in-law, Herod. She
seized the moment when Herod promised too much to her daughter. Thus, not
only grudge but excessive happiness as well could be recipes for disaster.



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