Matthew 14: 1-12.
Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time.
I will receive the sacrament of reconciliation today and also invite someone else to receive it.
Matthew 14: 1-12
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I
believe you are looking for me. You stand ready to come to me in this moment of prayer. You want to
help me see your love and where I can grow to be more like you. Thank you for your patience and
goodness with me. I want to give myself totally to you.
help me to hear your voice more clearly today.
1. A Disturbing Voice: John the Baptist had been
sent to prepare the way for Christ. He was a witness to the holiness of God. He tried to awaken the
sense of sin and the need for repentance. He spoke clearly and was afraid of no one. Sometimes the
voice of God in my conscience can be bothersome, like John's voice was to Herod. Yet a clear
reminder of what is right and wrong is an act of mercy from God. He is giving us a chance to awaken
from our lethargy and realize that our immortal souls are at stake. I should thank God when my
conscience reminds me of things I need to change in my life.
2. What's Wrong With a Little
Entertainment? There is nothing wrong with having celebrations in our life and moments of joy
and relaxation. A Christian's life is rich in moments of happiness. But, as was the case in Herod's
birthday party, there exists the danger of looking for entertainment and relaxation in activities or
pastimes which can simply manipulate our passions, weaken our morals, and deeply offend God. If we
are unable to choose our entertainment wisely we can end up throwing away the richness of our
spiritual inheritance for cheap thrills. Herod ends up as a murderer rather than a good king. His
unchecked passions of sensuality and human respect make him use his power to destroy rather than
protect. I must remember that even in the moments of relaxation I have the responsibility to protect
and foster my Christian identity. I should look for healthy pastimes where I can share the joy of
Christian living with my friends and family.
3. The Proverbial Second Chance: When Herod hears of
Jesus, his conscience pricks him. He knew he had killed a man of God. Somewhere in his heart he knew
that God would have the last word. The presence of Christ is an additional grace that the Father
offers Herod so that he may be converted. Unfortunately it is a grace that Herod will not take
advantage of, just as he did not take advantage of the presence of John the Baptist. In my own life,
how many times does the Father have to remind me of my call to holiness? Do I realize how much mercy
the Lord has already shown me? What is it that I am still withholding from him? Today I will seek a
deep conversion of heart in that area where I know I have still been withholding myself from
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for enlightening my conscience with your Gospel. Help me
to see where I have become deaf or insensitive to the call of your teachings. I want your grace to
triumph in my life. Help me to be brave to change what offends you and to live a life of Christian
Resolution: I will receive the sacrament of reconciliation today and also invite
someone else to receive it.