Mark 6:17-29 Biting Someone’s Head Off

The Passion of St. John The Baptist

(Click here for readings)

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.  John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.  Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him…”

Christian churches, and especially the Catholic Church, are said to be obsessed by sex and to devote far too much time and spiritual energy to dealing with it. 

Wow!  I don’t know about you, but I think it is Hollywood, the entertainment industry and the music industry that is obsessed by sex.  To be more specific, I think it is Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Madonna that are obsessed by sex.  Wait…come to think of it, I think it is our entire society and the millions of boys, girls, men and women that are addicted and obsessed by sex!

If the Church appears to be obsessed with sex, it is because it knows perfectly well what it can do to people. 

Sex is a huge force within us and can easily take control (possession) of us.  It can even reach the point of being a rival to God!

Sex can drive a men (men and women) bonkers! 

God created them male and female.  We take gender for granted.  We shouldn’t.  God didn’t.  He spelled it out and made it a significant factor from the very beginning of time.  

I find it remarkable at how quickly the Jews opposed nearly all the religious systems of the Ancient Near East and gave no gender to heavenly bodies.   

We know that the plant world can easily reproduce without the aid of sexual desire.  We also know that the animal kingdom desires sex only to propagate.  What we have a difficult time admitting is that, among humans, sex can take on a life of its own, and apart from reproduction.

God created sex.  He also created love.  “Love has an infinity of expressions.  Not only does it make possible evolution through natural selection but, in its higher expressions, it produces perpetual dramas – histories, comedies, tragedies.  It combines endless physical possibilities with endless emotional possibilities.” (- Paul Johnson, “The Quest for God”)

Today is the feast day of the beheading of St. John the Baptist, a prophet sent by God and killed by a weak and decrepit king.  We know the story well.  King Herod, who was married to his brother’s wife, secretly lusted over his wife’s daughter and was eventually seduced by her. Over his better judgment, he turned John’s head over to her. 

King Herod fell into a common trap.  Instead of biting his tongue, he bite the head off of God’s messenger.  Sound familiar?  Sex and raging fantasies can do that to a man.  Grudges and jealousy can do that to a woman.  Herod is as guilty as Herodias.

This morning, I read of an atheist king (without doubt one of the most beloved and feared in his country) who executed his former lover along with twelve performing artists.  OMG!  Déjà vu!

Apparently, Kim Jong-un’s new girlfriend may have been a bit jealous of the ex.  Well, when one or two are joined together without morals, then anything can go, including a life.

The news is reporting that they were all executed for making a sex tape.  Interesting…I guess when you’re above God, then pornography is a more serious crime than mass murder.

I love the picture I chose.  It spoke to me.  There he is:  confident, smiling, and so kingly.  And look at all those ladies.  See how they cry.  I wonder:  Is it out of love or fear?  Probably a little bit of both, for they know their king has their life in his hands, and they may actually wish they had a hand in his murderous hands. 

Today, let’s be extra careful not to bite someone’s head off, especially out of jealousy or resentment. (0)

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Fr. Alfonse (1044 Posts)

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