This Gospel passage reads like a great mini-series: a corrupt king, scandal, a lavish birthday party, and a death. Herod seems to be the main focus of this gospel and why not, he liked to be the center of attention. He was the King of Self-Promotion. He would have loved today’s culture of selfies and “Hey…look at me” Facebook postings.

He based a lot of his decisions on pride and popular opinion. He didn’t need to kill John but was nudged along by his wife and wanted approval from his guests. There is probably more of King Herod in all of us than we care to admit.

Instead of our own needs, how can we develop and maintain a faith practice that allows us to be reflective about our behavior, and increasingly open to making decisions in accordance with the Lord’s wishes?

—Jenni and Dan O’Brien. Dan serves as regional development director for the Wisconsin Province Jesuits. Jenni is the mother of two young children and a psychotherapist specializing in depression, anxiety, and adjustment issues with teens and adults.