The same evil that rippled through the generations of Biblical “Herods” continues into modern times, influencing the desire for some to have total domination. Throughout the world, innocents fear for their lives. It is a complex moral issue because the answer is not always fighting fire with fire. We are not without hope, as our Christian obligation is to cry out “God have mercy”. As a crowd of two or more, in memory of John the Baptist, Peter, and others, in Jesus’s name, we pray, “Satan get behind us.”
The full-resolution painting and more detail are available on the Brooklyn Museum website.
Mark 6:14-29 – Scripture*
The Death of John the Baptist
14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’[ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18 For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23 And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Thank you for meditating on this Gospel and reading this Lectio Divina on Mark 6:14-29 Reflection – Cry out to God for Mercy.
Would you like to contribute related thoughts to these Lectio reflections on the Gospel readings? Since Lectio is not the only contemplative prayer style, others might appreciate these types of expressions in this ministry. Do you see God’s grandeur everywhere and unconditionally enjoy sharing the love of Christ that you have inside? Are you willing to be anonymous in what you would share? If so, email me.
Prayer for young families:
Lord, let the young families of our communities get to know your joy, peace, comfort, and love despite worldly distractions.
*This site has permission to use the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) Bible Mark 6 passage.