9. Understanding Mark 6:17-29: Virtue and Vice


First we will look at John and his virtue of fortitude. He did not say much, but whatever he said struck the hearts of men like a lightning bolt made out of pure love. This lightning bolt was so strong that he was willing to go to death for it. John was not

afraid or had any attachment to anything else except his mission which was to proclaim the coming of the messiah. He was bestowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to never back down from the truth and to proclaim to truth to his very last breath.


If we look at the other side of fortitude, which in this case is Herod, we see how many words which are controlled by the desires of the heart rather than that of faith, will lead you to lose everything you love whether you like it or not. It is clear in the gospel that Herod held John in high esteem, yet his desire for lust for Herodias’ daughter caused him to lose the only piece of holiness in his house and in turn, the only chance for his salvation. By his oath done out of pure lust, he lost John who would have brought him to holiness and eternal happiness.


So what do we learn from these two opposing traits? What do we learn from the difference of Virtue and Vice? We see that in virtue (John) that death cannot even get in the way of the peace and happiness he felt in the supreme and whole truth. That if we follow the ways of the Lord, we will be free from all suffering in this life and the next and will only experience perfect love, but if we follow vice (Herod) we will lose any thing we truly and wholly desire, whether that be the lust of the heart or to attain virtue because it is rooted in our perverse will that leads us to damnation. I cannot stress enough that following our own perverse will, leads one into total and unimaginable despair because it is unnatural. However. if we follow the will of God THROUGH The Blessed Virgin Mary who is the gate to the will of God, we will succeed in finding happiness and joy in all that is expected out of us. I have to stress the Blessed Virgin here which I know might have come out of no where, but she is of utmost importance for us to attain to virtue. Even John the Baptist leaped in Elizabeth’s womb when he heard the voice of the virgin because he, in his fetal state, knew the value and importance of her as a woman.


The last thing I wish to leave you all with is that if you truly wish to attain to the fortitude and strength of St. John the Baptist, pray your rosary devoutly every day and I can guarantee that you will find the same fortitude and strength, but multiplied by infinity thanks to the Blessed Mother.


Grace to you all my friends.

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