I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Reflection for August 29, the Passion of Saint John the Baptist: Mark 6:17-29

Gospel: Mark 6:17-29
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you. He even swore many things to her “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom. She went out and said to her mother “What shall I ask for? She replied, “The head of John the Baptist. The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist. The king was deeply distressed but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
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Where does John the Baptist’s courage comes from? John’s courage emanates from God, he draws strength from God. It’s God who fuels John’s motivation to denounce the immorality of Herod and Herodias.

Faced with a very powerful man, John never thought of backing down. He stood his ground and simply followed the dictate of the Holy Spirit.

When faced with the same dilemma would we be able to stand our ground and look straight in the eyes those who are corrupt and immoral? Or those who are straying the right path? For example in your house if you sense that something is wrong with your spouse, would you pretend to see nothing and hear nothing? Of course not! You have to denounce it no matter what happens.

Many martyrs and saints of the church took the difficult path of John and like John they paid dearly for it. This is how it is when you are true to your discipleship with Jesus. You have to be ready to sacrifice a big part of your life so that evil will not triumph.

To do nothing, to pretend to hear and see nothing in spite of the obvious stench of immorality and other wrongdoings is evil. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

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