Persecuted for the Truth…
Herodias, who was married to Herod, wanted revenge on John the Baptist:
(Herodias) had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore (many things) to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” -Mark 6:21-24, NAB
For the full story, follow this link for Mark 6.
Who was Herodias, and why did she want revenge on John the Baptist? As the rest of Mark 6 tells us, John the Baptist had chastised Herod for marrying Herodias. Why? Because she was already married to Herod’s brother, Philip, but Herod took her as his bride anyway. Basically, John the Baptist called them out for their adultery.
At first, Herod simply kept John in prison for his accusations, but that would not be enough for Herodias. She did not like being called an adulteress. Finally, in the story from today’s verse, she saw an opportunity to have her revenge on John the Baptist. When Herod offered her daughter a reward for her performance, she asked for the head of John the Baptist.
No one likes to be called out for their sins. We all sin, but no one likes to feel guilty for it. For many people, this is why they walk away from the Catholic Church. Compared to many other denominations, the Catholic Church has strongly held its convictions and has refused to conform to society. Also, when necessary, the Church will try to help people turn from their sinful lifestyles.
Making people aware of their sins, even indirectly, will not help the Church win any popularity contests, but, then again, the Church cares very little about popularity. The Church’s only goal is to tell the truth. Unfortunately, there are those who are doing their best to bring revenge against the Catholic Church, just like Herodias sought revenge against John.
I applaud the Church’s efforts to stand its ground. Daily, in the news, we hear about attacks against Catholic beliefs and values, but we must remain strong. The world will try to behead us through false accusations and scandals, but we have to hold on to the truth – regardless of the cost.