"Herodias harbored a grudge against him for this and wanted to kill him." -Mark 6:19

Possibly the only one at Herod's birthday who wanted John beheaded was Herodias. Herod didn't want to kill John (Mk 6:20), and Herodias' daughter didn't think to ask for John's head until her mother put her up to it (Mk 6:24). Moreover, most of the people at Herod's birthday party may have thought it wrong to behead John. Even people with warped consciences can see the evil in the act of putting a freshly cut human head on a platter and parading it around a cocktail party.

One person can get away with committing an atrocity which no one else accepts when everyone is paralyzed to do anything about it. Herod was paralyzed by pride. Herodias' daughter may have been trapped by confusion or fear. Herod's guests were paralyzed by their egos, fears, or political ambitions.

Babies in the womb are murdered. Neighborhoods become paranoid through violence. Refugees are left to starve. Thousands upon thousands of people are annihilated through war. Yet hardly anyone wants abortion, violence, starvation, or war. These things happen because a thousand paralyzed Herods and party guests won't stop one Herodias. Conversely, one free, bold John the Baptizer will ultimately stop thousands of Herodiases. The Lord commands us: "Stand up and tell them all that I command you" (Jer 1:17).

 Father, make me fearless, resolute, pure, and free.

 "May the Lord increase you and make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love does for you." -1 Thes 3:12

1 comment:

Ed Sousa, Sr. said...

At the apparition site of Medjugorje, Our Lady reportedly gave five wonderful promises, on September 2, 2012, for those who pray for atheists (the ones "who have not come to know the love of the Heavenly Father").

The promises are:

1. "I will strengthen you."
2. "I will fill you with my graces."
3. "With my love, I will protect you from the evil spirit."
4. "I will be with you."
5. "With my presence, I will console you in difficult moments."

The prayer:

"In the Name of Jesus, Who said that anything we ask in His Name will be
given to those who believe, I ask that those who have not come to know the
love of the Heavenly Father will be blessed with the knowledge that they are
loved by Him beyond all human reasoning and understanding. Please grant
them the gift to feel His love as it enfolds them to such an extent that they
will be unable to resist or deny it. May the knowledge of the Heavenly
Father's infinite love stir within their hearts the desire to return that love
to Him, and to reflect it to all others. May their lives be a pure
reflection of His resplendent love. I ask this in the Name of the Father, and
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen"

[resources: Fear of Fire]