How many ways does the modern Herod chop off the head of the contemporary prophet?
First, we must ask, who is the modern Herod? Anyone with power to influence our society for good, or for evil. Second, of equal importance, who is the contemporary prophet? Anyone who proclaims the faith, reading 'the signs of the times' within the the grand view of God's Will, while offering an honest reflection on the current human situation.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's count the many modern manifestations of prophetic beheading?
A major prophetic beheading occurs in the main-stream-media, and popular entertainment, in the popular voices of America, and the shapers of social perception, when they disparage the reputation of our Catholic Bishops. Through myths, and Black Legends, and stereotypes coming from exaggerated reporting on unfortunate past events, the Prophetic Shepherds of the Catholic flock are left fighting for the disciple (within the modern world) with one hand tied behind their back. Though hampered by scandal ridden stereotypes, our Shepherds stand firm in the promise of Christ, that 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church,' and in the purgative perseverance which comes in times of trial from the Holy Spirit of God.
The chopping block is ready. But God has other plans for His Shepherds.
The average American-Catholic-disciple feels more and more frustrated in a nation overwhelmed by 'the culture of death,' rampant sexual promiscuity, anti-religious secularism (and governmental legislation), and a Church torn down the middle in progressive apathy and apostasy, while a Traditional-faith-majority are pushed to the fringe of a society which has willfully hurled itself way left-of-center. When the family, traditional marriage, religious freedom, and the most basic right to Life are under siege, the faithful Catholic can, at times, seek only for survival from the social henchman who seek to cut the Head (in Christ) from the Body of the faithful.
Even the great St John the Baptist couldn't escape the evil plans of Herod. So, how are we to remain hopeful in our plight? Remembering that Jesus did not escape the evil of the ruling Jewish elite, the Romans, and specifically Pontius Pilate, we must remember that we are a Paschal faith, and our victory is not necessarily in escape, but in Loving obedience to the Father within the purgative storm.
So, instead of losing our head to the henchmen, let's serve and Love the Lord, even if it means meeting the perilous chopping block or the Cross. For it's better to lose our head and save our soul than to keep our necks unscathed and lose our life in Christ. Therefore, when the social henchmen comes a calling, answer them unabashedly in the faith of the Catholic Church.
And, come what may, trust in the Risen Lord to keep us unto salvation.