Malvern Minute – Monday
Malvern Minute

 

August 29, 2016  – Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist                                                        

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com) 

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

Mark 6:17-20; 26-29

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.

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.
Reflect: John the Baptist was murdered for giving testimony to the light. Herodias held a grudge against him and Herod feared but also was attracted to John’s message. Yet, because of a promise Herod made out of the darkness of his heart and his desire not to be seen as weak before his guests, he ordered that John was to be beheaded. Each of us struggles between giving testimony to the light and giving in to the dark, to sin. At the same time, if we let ourselves be embraced by Jesus and his message of light, love, peace, hope, forgiveness and mercy, then we may find ourselves, like John, face to face with the darkness of the world. At that moment we have a choice: to believe that God is present and calls us to trust and be faithful even in the midst of the world’s lies and darkness; or to abandon the truth and conform to the world’s darkness and the enemy’s lies.

Do I pray for the grace to stand firm in the light even if the people and the environment around me are convinced of a contrary way? Do I take even my temptations and place whose before Jesus so that he can purify my thoughts, words and deeds?

Pray: Loving God, thank you for the witness of John the Baptist. Pour into me the grace to give testimony to the truth and the light at all times, but especially when my faith and your Word is being challenged.  I ask this in the powerful, perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint John the Baptist: Pray for us!

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

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