What a sad and tragic thing: wicked King Herod makes a foolish promise to a pretty girl and then feels forced to keep the promise because of what others would think if he broke it. Herod commands that the head of John the Baptist be cut off! It’s a sad story. Not only was St. John’s head cut off, but Herod cut off his own soul from God. What makes it even sadder is that Herod liked to talk with St. John. They’ll be no more late-night conversations that Herod used to enjoy with him.
Here’s a question. What was John doing in prison in the first place? It’s because St. John spoke right up about what was right and wrong. He said that the marriage that Herod had with his brother’s wife was very wrong. So slam—into the dungeon goes St. John.
Think of what it would have been like for St. John not to have spoken up. What if he had just made “nice-nice” and kept quiet. Wouldn’t he have put himself at risk of his own soul also cut off from God like Herod did? Better to lose your head than your soul!
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
John speaking truth to power.
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.
This is the sixth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we read 2 Corinthians.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. More information…