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Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665), "Herodias, with head of John the Baptist"

Jeremiah 26:11-24, Psalm 69, Matthew 14:1-12

Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” (Mt 14:8)

Herod had John beheaded in prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. (Mt 14:10-11)

Poor John the Baptist! The root problem here is pride giving rise to Relativism. King Herod established his own truth and lacked moral courage to do the right thing even though he knew John was a good man.

Once we’re hooked on sin, our values are turned upside down. Evil becomes our most urgent ‘good’ and our deepest longing. Good then stands as an evil in our eyes because it threatens to keep us from satisfying our illicit desires.

Once we have fallen to this state, repentance becomes near impossible, because repentance is by definition, a ‘turning away from evil and towards Good’. In this fallen state however, the sinner has thoroughly redefined Good and evil.

This is Relativism — in my opinion, the most cancerous evil of our time. Everyone today wants to be correct. Essentially, everyone wants to be their own Pope, everyone wants to decide their own interpretation of God’s Word and everyone wants to make their own Truth and Laws.

We see this happening when the world promotes freedom of choice in LGBT circles, contraception, abortions, and euthanasia. Overtime, these acts aren’t evil to the eyes of the world anymore precisely because Good and evil has been warped.

At the end of the day, to live a good life is not to live a life free of troubles, but to live free of needless worry. Catastrophes happen to Christians, just as good things happen to evil people. Yet, for a hopeful Christian, even disasters will be viewed as good, because a good Christian understands that these serve to purify us from attachments to this world.


Originally posted on Instagram.
Image: Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665), Herodias, with head of John the Baptist / PD-US

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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