Saturday: August 29, 2020
Reference: Mark 6:17-29
Today’s Gospel always thrusts multiple characters into the spotlight: we could begin with Herod- the King who just because he got excited, made an oath without paying attention to the aftermath. Or Herodias, who held a grudge for so long that it had to take the head of John the Baptist to settle it. We also have the young daughter of Herodias who listened to the words of her mother to request for John’s head.
However, I want to focus on the guests who had been invited to this party and their part in the way things turned out. They were not just any bodies, they belonged to the upper echelons of society: they were people whose input were very likely to reach the ears of the King. Besides, they even had an informal audience with him how much more a formal audience.
Nonetheless, it is possible that by virtue of the setting within which they found themselves, having been invited to dine, they did not want to get on the wrong side of their king. Thus, even in a situation where king Herod had sworn an oath that was about to result in the beheading of a man, they said nothing but watched on as the King honoured his oath.
We can brainstorm together about one big if: “would any interjections from the invited party have saved the life of John or caused the King to rescind his oath? Probably, not. But sometimes, what is needed is someone to plead your case – just one person. One person to make an intercessory prayer, one person to stand in the gap, one person to be on your team; and outcomes might be different. It really does matter.