Wednesday, August 30, 2006

John the Baptist

Herod feared John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and guarded him carefully...Although John's words disturbed him greatly, Herod enjoyed listening to John.

It is enlightening to meditate on what we fear. Herod feared John in part because he realized John spoke truth. The truth is to be feared if you live a lie.

Yet Herod could not stay away from John. The truth has an attraction-even for those who want to deny it. (Herod is anxious to see Christ in the early hours after His arrest. Yes, Herod wants to see a miracle worker-but maybe he also wants to see if Christ is like John; maybe he wants to hear more of the truth-not that he will act on it. He has gone too far...)

Herod is a weak man. He knows John is good. He likes to listen to him even at the cost of personal anxiety-yet Herod fears his "wife's" displeasure and his own loss of pride more than he fears anything else. Herod "wife" sees Herod's fascination with John-with the truth. She must nip this in the bud so she doesn't lose her place.

It was rumored that Anne Bolyn asked to see John Fisher's head before it was placed on London Bridge. The tale is most likely false-but behind it certainly lies some truth. You can be sure that Anne Bolyn nagged Henry for the death of John Fisher-he was a lone voice reminding Henry of his sinful ways. Anne probably knew that Henry also had a fascination for truth (as Herod did), and that she needed to force the issue if she didn't want to lose her place.

This drama is carried out over and over at different levels in our own lives. We betray God with sin because we fear s0me earthly consequence more than we fear God. Thomas More would admonish us to contemplate more on the 4 Last Things. This meditation will help us resist temptation, trust God, and throw off our fears and concerns of this life.

From Bethany, our small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!

1 comment:

TS said...

Interesting comparison between Henry the VIII & Herod. Both were interested in the truth. Thought-provoking.