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February 04, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Mark 6:14-29
King Herod also heard about Jesus, because his name had become well known. Some people said, “John
the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” Others thought, “He
is Elijah,” and others, “He is a prophet like the prophets of times past.” When Herod was told of this, he thought, “I had

John beheaded; yet, he has risen from the dead!” For this is what had happened: 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. He knew John to be an upright and holy man, and kept him safe. And he liked listening to him; although he became
very disturbed whenever he heard him. Herodias had her chance on Herod’s birthday, when he gave a dinner for all the senior government
officials, military chiefs, and the leaders of Galilee. 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.” And he went so far as to say with many
oaths, “I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.” 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. When John’s disciples heard of this, they came and took his body and buried it.

 

Reflection:

 

René Girard, a cultural anthropologist, speaks of our
desires being imitative: Because we have no idea what to desire,
we copy the desire of others and end up in a mess. The daughter
of Herodias has no idea what to ask for. So she runs to her mother,
borrows her mother’s desire, and is left with a bleeding head! We
squirm at her stupid choice as much as we grieve John’s loss of
head. But aren’t we copycats as well? When God offers to fulfill
our grandest desires (“How much more will the heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” Lk 11:13) we end up
looking to those on our left and right, copy their desires and ask:
“Lord, give me a car; a job; lots of money; 15 minutes of fame.”
What a shame! What a waste of an opportunity of a lifetime!

 

© Copyright Bible Diary 2022

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