Give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist. We are all familiar with today’s Gospel:  the sad and brutal execution of the “righteous and holy man,” St. John the Baptist.   But let’s take a moment to review some of the background for this familiar story. John was a descendant from the priestly clans of Israel—a group that had, by and large, collaborated with King Herod’s corrupt rule.   Rather than associating with this group,...