We have here a kind of flashback in Matthews narrative. As in Mark’s Gospel (6:1729) , Matthew relates the death of John the Baptist as a kind of parenthesis in the story of Jesus..
We know what a strong man of virtue John was. He was not afraid to confront the powerful with their wrong doings. Being accused of living in adultery by John, Herod
had desire to kill him, but was afraid, because of the people who favoured the Baptist. He did,however, unjustly put him into prison.
Herod was a weak man. He was afraid. At the height of passion and pleasure he was imprudent. He promised Herodias’ daughter,Salome, anything she might ask for, and confirm it with an oath in the presence of all his guests. This foolishness put him in a deep dilemma. He was afraid and had misgivings. What would the people say? But he was even more ashamed to go back on his foolish word, his drunken oath, because of his guest. Human respect in the bad sense of his phrase was the trigger that killed John the Baptist.
We have here the ultimate examples of the strong man and the weak character. John stands up for what he believes in regardless of the consequences Herod is the Rreed blown this way and that by every wind of the popular mood.
The one makes every effort to shake the disciples of Christ. it has become very unpopular to live up to true Christian morals. The new morality of convenience is in. Only the strong will survive and live up to the teachings of Christ.but we must not despair,even though we know we are weak we can be strong with the strength of Christ and the power of his spirit.

O Lord, help us to listen attentively to your prophet, and not be swayed by every popular mood

B & F Mischke O.S.C

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