Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

I wonder if we ever make rash promises or rash oaths.  Certainly, Jesus warned against this by saying do not swear by anything but, rather, let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’.  In the book of Judges, Jephthah made a rash promise with fatal consequences for his daughter.  In the book of 1 Samuel, something similar almost happened with Saul’s son Jonathan.  In the Gospel passage assigned to this week we have a similar story.  King Herod respected John the Baptist and yet promised the daughter of Herodias anything she wanted after her dancing performance.  After consulting with her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist.  Although greatly distressed, King Herod had backed himself into a corner in front of his court and didn’t have the courage to spare the life of John.   We should all be careful in what we promise others.  Once again we should heed the words of our Lord: ‘Do not swear an oath at all!

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What are my gifts and how can I best serve

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