The liturgy is going out of its way today to present us with models of faith and devotion. And drama, too.
Yesterday we heard of the death of King David; today we have a paeon to David from the very late book of Sirach. (Tellingly, Sirach devotes as much time to David's liturgical life as he does to his military exploits.) There's another death in the Gospel, but this time it is death at the hands of a king: the sniveling King Herod. Whereas David was the father of a great builder-king (Solomon), this Herod was the son of one (Herod the Great). And where David was bold, Herod was weak. So weak that his wife knew just how to force his hand in getting the head of John the Baptist out of Herod's dungeon and onto a plate. All she had to do was tell her daughter to ask for it "at once." The presence of witnesses insured that Herod would be unable to procrastinate.
But wait, there's more!
Today is also the feast of the early Christian martyr, Agatha and the anniversary of the death of Ven. Mother Thecla Merlo, co-foundress (with Bl. James Alberione) of the Daughters of St. Paul!
All told, four images of wholehearted faith.