Thank you for joining the Good Shepherd Live Stream Mass for Saturday 8/1/2020, Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Saturday 8/1/2020

Reading 1 JER 26:11-16, 24

The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
“This man deserves death;
he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.”
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
“It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city
all that you have heard.
Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
listen to the voice of the LORD your God,
so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
As for me, I am in your hands;
do with me what you think good and right.
But mark well: if you put me to death,
it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
on this city and its citizens.
For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you,
to speak all these things for you to hear.”

Thereupon the princes and all the people
said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve death;
it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.”

So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah,
so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death

Responsorial Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34

R.    (14c)  Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me.
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Alleluia MT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 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.

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

The Sad Fruit of Hate

“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Matthew 14:8

Ugh, what a bad day to say the least.  St. John the Baptist was beheaded at the request of Salome, the daughter of Herodias.  John was in prison for speaking the truth to Herod regarding his marriage, and Herodias was filled with hate toward John.  So Herodias had her daughter dance in the presence of Herod and his guests.  Herod was so impressed, he promised Salome up to half of his kingdom.  Instead, her request was for the head of John the Baptist.

Even on the surface this is a bizarre request.  Salome is promised up to half of the kingdom and, instead, she asks for the death of a good and holy man.  In fact, Jesus said of John that no one born of woman was greater than he was.  So why all the hate by Herodias and her daughter?

This sad incident illustrates the power of anger in its most extreme form.  When anger brews and grows it causes deep passion, so much so that it clouds a person’s thinking and reason.  Hate and revenge can consume a person and lead to complete foolishness.

Herod is also a witness of extreme irrationality here.  He is pressured to do what he does not want to do because he is afraid of doing the right thing.  He is overwhelmed by the hate in the heart of Herodias and, as a result, gives in to the execution of John whom he actually appeared to like and enjoyed listening to.

Normally we seek to be inspired by the good example of others.  But, in this case, we find we can be “inspired” in a different way.  We should use the witness of John’s execution as an opportunity to look at any struggles we have with anger, resentment and especially hate.  Hate is an ugly passion that can sneak in and cause much destruction in our lives and the lives of others.  Even the beginnings of this disordered passion should be confessed and overcome.

Reflect, today, upon whether you see any hate in your heart.  Have you held on to some grudge or bitterness that is not going away?  Is that passion growing and causing damage to your life and the lives of others?  If so, resolve to let go of it and forgive.  It’s the right thing to do.

Lord, give me the grace I need to look into my heart and see any tendencies of anger, resentment and hatred.  Please purify me of these and set me free.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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