Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (6: 14-29) where John the Baptist was beheaded. Fr Paul notes that the story of John the Baptist is told by Mark with more attention and sympathy than the other Gospel writers. Mark focuses on the royal birthday party which changes basically into a courtroom drama. Mark uses two biblical models in this Gospel. Firstly, the wicked Queen, in this case Herodias. Secondly, there is the persuasive young dancing girl, in this case Herodias’ daughter. Herodias then uses her daughter to get what she wants, the head of John the Baptist.Fr Paul mentions that in this Gospel Mark is again using the sandwiching technique. This story of John the Baptist, has been sandwiched between the mission on the Twelve, which was in yesterday’s Gospel, and their return. The placing of this story between the two events suggests proclaiming the message and morals of Christianity will be dangerous and so it will demand courage.Today for our reflection, Fr Paul asks us to consider this question; ‘do I have the courage to fully live out my faith?’