“When the elephants fight, the grass is trampled”. What we can learn from the execution of John the Baptist.

Sermons and audio

IMG 0821This week’s Gospel tells of the events surrounding the execution of John the Baptist, whom Jesus describes as the greatest of the prophets, by order of King Herod. Herod makes this decision as a result of a rash promise promise to Salome, daughter of Herodias, his wife, during a banquet celebrating his birthday. Herod doesn’t actually want to kill John the Baptist, but he’s more afraid of losing face in front of his party guests than he is of the divine consequences of murdering a holy man.

That decision to kill rather than be embarrassed or lose social status isn’t all that foreign to us today. Modern nation states essentially do the same to their own people or to the powerless of other nations when they act to preserve their place in the global economy or international rankings. And we do harm to ourselves and each other with our modern “influencer” culture. And all of us remember the pain and shame of Middle School…

Learning to leave that behind is one of the most consequential and freeing choices a human can make.