Whenever I ponder the circumstances recalled in today’s Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, I can’t help but wonder, “why did that girl Salome want a decapitated head on a silver platter when she could have had anything up to half a kingdom?” King Herod, out of drunken lust for his grandniece, Salome, offered her anything she wanted after she danced at his birthday party. But apparently the girl didn’t know what to ask for so went to her mother Herodias for advice!
Herodias was the object of King Herod’s doubly adulterous and incestous live-in relationship, and the current wife of Herod’s half-brother and daughter of another brother! This was a public scandal; John the Baptist didn’t spare the uncle and niece in the course of his fiery preaching of the Truth. Out of evil hatred for John, Herodias tells Salome to ask for the preacher’s head. And the girl goes along with it, earning the title of this post. But forget about her.
St. John the Baptist died for Truth, also known as Christ. And because of his witness we ask, “St. John the Baptist, pray for us!”