Today is the Feast of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. The Gospel reading from Mark 6 recounts the story.
John called Herod out for marrying the wife of his (Herod’s) brother Philip. Out of anger, Herod had John thrown in jail and, in a moment of foolishness, agreed to give the head of John to Herodias’ (his new wife, who also harbored a grudge against John) daughter. And so he did.
John’s story is a lesson in the cost of obedience. He could have recanted his position any time. But that would have meant denying the truth and being disobedient to God. His obedience cost him his head. Yet he was willing to pay the ultimate price to remain obedient to the end. How often do we cave in under much less dire circumstances?
Father, teach us obedience, and give us the grace and strength to remain obedient to you always, no matter the cost. Amen.