Posted by: RAM | August 4, 2017

Saturday (August 5): “This man is John the Baptist.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome 
Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 406

First Reading: Leviticus 25:1, 8-17
Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 7-8:  O God, let all the nations praise you!
Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/080517.cfm

Reflection: Do you ever feel haunted by a past failure or a guilty conscience? King Herod, the most powerful and wealthy man in Judea, had everything he wanted, except a clear conscience and peace with God. Herod had respected and feared John the Baptist as a great prophet and servant of God. John, however did not fear to rebuke Herod for his adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife. He ended up in prison because of Herodias’ jealousy. Herod, out of impulse and a desire to please his family and friends, had John beheaded. Now his conscience is pricked when he hears that all the people are going to Jesus to hear his message of repentance and to see his mighty works. Herod is now haunted by the thought that the prophet he murdered might now be raised from the dead!

A sign of vanity and cowardice
Unfortunately for Herod, he could not rid himself of sin by ridding himself of the man who confronted him with his sin. Herod’s power and influence was badly flawed. He could take a strong stand on the wrong things when he knew the right. Such a stand, however, was a sign of weakness and cowardice. Where do you get the strength of will and heart to choose what is right and to reject what is bad?

God is our help and our strength
The Lord Jesus gives grace and help to the humble, to those who acknowledge their weaknesses and their sinfulness, and who look to God for his mercy and pardon, wisdom and strength. His grace and pardon not only frees us from a guilty conscience, it enables us to pursue holiness in every area of our lives, in our thoughts and intentions as well as our words and actions.

Fight fear with faith
God’s grace enables us to fight fear with faith and to overcome the temptation to compromise good with evil. Do you rely on God’s grace and help to choose his way of holiness and to reject whatever would weaken your faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ?

“Heavenly Father, form in me the likeness of your Son Jesus that I may imitate him in word and deed. Help me to live the gospel faithfully and give me the strength and courage I need to not shrink back in the face of hardship and temptation.” http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/2017/aug5.htm

Saint of the Day: St. Addal (d. 180)
A disciple of Christ sent by St. Thomas to the court of King Abgar the Black, the second century Osroene ruler. Legendary accounts claim Abgar wrote to Christ asking Jesus to cure him of an intolerable and incurable illness. Abgar’s court was in Edessa in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Addal cured Abgar and converted the king and his people to the faith. One of these was Addai, who became Addal’s successor. Addal is also supposed to have sent another disciple, Man, to various sites along the Tigris River. It is known that Addal did missionary work around Edessa toward the end of the second century. Both Addal and Man have been venerated in the Syrian and Persian churches since that era. Addal is recorded as a martyr for the faith. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1123  

More Saints of the Day:
St. Abel
St. Addal
St. Afra
St. Cantidius
St. Cassian of Autun
St. Emygdius
St. Eusignius
St. Eusignius
St. Gormcal
St. Memmius
St. Nouna
St. Paris
St. Theodoric
St. Venantius

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Maynila, Pilipinas

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