Are you enjoying the CWCO? If you’re free on Sunday evening at 6, be sure to stop by and chat with me! I’ll be giving away a free copy of my book “Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments”
Typically at EMN the weekend post is based on a personality from one of the readings that week. This week we have a real doozy: the daughter of Herodias, who conspired with her mother to bring about the murder of John the Baptist, the cousin of Christ. In the sixth chapter of Mark, we read:
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.
[Herod’s unlawful wife Herodias, who hated John,] 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. His 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?”
Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
This Gospel reading has many useful applications in the life of a writer:
* Truth creates as many enemies as friends. Had John stayed out in the desert in obscurity, instead of taking his voice of truth into Herod’s court, he might have lived to old age. Instead, he fulfilled the task God gave him. It takes real courage to speak the uncomfortable truth, for we cannot always predict or control the outcome. But in the end, truth has a life of its own — and lasts longer than we do!
* To win the war, we must be prepared to go behind enemy lines — and accept the consequences. Truth, spoken in love, is an irresistable force. And yet, every war has its casualties, and a soldier of the cross must be ready to forfeit even the good to obtain that which is best.
* Herod was motivated by pride and lust; Herodias by vengeance. However, the girl was taken by simple sloth: She deferred to her mother’s evil influence, even when that meant doing an objectively evil deed. How often do we get swept along, doing evil simply because we are too lazy or too ill-informed to stand against it and do the right thing?