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Thursday, August 29, 1996

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Beheading of St. John the Baptizer

Jeremiah 1:17-19
Psalm 71
Mark 6:17-29

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"Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them." — Jeremiah 1:17

Often we cannot help being persecuted or even killed, but we can refuse to be crushed. The government might put us in jail, but it cannot crush our spirits unless we let it. We cannot always prevent our enemies from attacking us, but we can always refuse to be manipulated by intimidation into compromise (see Mt 10:26).

If we accept God's grace to be uncrushable, we will stand up and publicly announce what God has commanded us (Jer 1:17). Like John the Baptizer, we will call sin sin, adultery adultery, and lies lies (Mk 6:18). We will stand up for the truth, for Jesus is the Truth (Jn 14:6).

The uncrushed, unintimidated, unmanipulated, and uncompromised are "a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land" (Jer 1:18). They are made this way not by their human strength but by God's grace (Jer 1:18). The uncrushed are invincible (Jer 1:19). Even if they die, they will rise in victory. Don't be crushed; be free, true, pure, holy, victorious, and glorious.

Prayer:  Father, may I not fear those who can only destroy my body (Mt 10:28).

Promise:  "My mouth shall declare Your justice, day by day Your salvation." —Ps 71:15

Praise:  John was such a powerful preacher and prophet that King Herod feared him even when he was in prison (Mk 6:20).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996