Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Psalm 139:1-6, Mark 6:17-29


Memorial of St. John the Baptist

Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Mt. 5:10

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Psalm 139:1-6, Mark 6:17-29

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

St. Paul was a man of great passion. Just as he had thrown himself wholeheartedly to the persecution of Your followers so did he with equally great passion follow You after his encounter with You. He understood the mission he was privileged to receive and he carried it out with single minded devotion. He was prepared to suffer anything, give up everything, spend himself totally to the Good News which he preached tirelessly. The Holy Spirit gave him the ability to speak and write of the love of God revealed to a sinful world through You and You in turn made it possible for us to strive for holiness and perfection in imitation of the Father because You sent Your Spirit.

Help me too Lord to fulfill my own mission by the way I live my life. All that You ask of me grant that I may do it with as great a passion as Paul even though all You ask of me is to shed my poor, flickering light just where I am.

Psalm 139:1-6

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

I thank You for your intimate knowledge of me. You know me and You understand me. You know all my weaknesses, my limitations, my inability to exercise my will when I am faced with temptations and yet You stay close to me. You help me from moment to moment. You breathe in me the breath of life. You hold my hand should I stumble and when deliberately walk away from the path of life and fall You come to me, lift me up, cleanse and restore me and comfort me.

Thank You for Your unfailing love and Your constant Presence in me. Thank You for the Food of Yourself with which You feed me and strengthen me. Any good I do is because You help me do it. Thank You for Your assurance that You will never leave me and will be with me in time and eternity.

Mark 6:17-29

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

In today's Gospel we read the account of how John the Baptist who feared no man and was righteous and holy lost his life for the sake of the truth. He was unafraid to confront those  in high places and publicly denounce them for living lives contrary to the law of God. He was imprisoned and an unrepentant, angry woman waited for the moment when she could strike him and when the opportunity presented itself she took it. She was prepared to use her daughter in a way no mother should in order to destroy John the Baptist. 

Like Herod we make foolish oaths and promises in moments of weakness and then instead of allowing commonsense to prevail we do what we know it wrong in order to save face with the world. Forgive me Lord for all the times I was silent when I ought to have spoken up for the truth and by my very silence colluded with error. Help me Lord to preach and teach the Gospel every moment of my life in the way I live it. Thank You.

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