Saint John the Baptist – greater than the entire kingdom of Herod

Being Herod`s birthday and being celebrated, it was organized a rich feast as due and all the noblemen of the country were invited. There at the feast the daughter from the first marriage of Herodiad, called Salome, danced; the king liked so much the dance of the young and beautiful girl that being drunk and burning with lust told her: `ask me whatever you want until the half of my kingdom and I will give it to you and he reinforced his words by oath.

Salome not knowing what to ask went and talked with her mother. Herodiad didn`t stay to think much: ask for the head of Saint John the Baptist, she said, now and here: to bring it to you on a tray. King Herod shuddered. He was not willing to kill John whom he knew the people believed to be a prophet. Then he did not dislike the man. IN his way he respected him and he agreed to his arrest only to get rid of the pestle of his wife.

But the fool drunk as he was, was ashamed to break his reckless oath. He could have explained to the girl: `I promised to you up to half of my kingdom but this man values more than half of my kingdom therefore I can`t give him to you; ask me for something else.` But his mind didn`t help him get this just answer and as a fool he fulfilled the wild and shameful demand: John was beheaded in the cellars of the palace and his holy head was brought to Salome on a tray as the evil Herodiad wished.

We retain from the life and sacrifice of Saint John the Baptist something else : ` the human capacity to come out of oneself, to surpass the narrowness of phenomenology, to love  someone else. We dare make a guidance (or at least a reason for distrust in brief statements) from the moving, admirable and serene sentence from John 3, 30: `He must become greater, I must become less.`

Excerpt from By giving, you will gain– Nicolae Steinhardt.

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