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Thursday, August 29, 2002

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Beheading of
St. John the Baptizer

Jeremiah 1:17-19 or
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Psalm 71 or
Psalm 145

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the grown-ups

"The Lord answered me, 'Say not, "I am too young." To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.' " —Jeremiah 1:7

Today we need in the worst way people like John the Baptizer (see Mk 6:17ff). We need courageous men and women who will speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and stand up for purity. We need mature Christians, not "infants in Christ" (1 Cor 3:1) who are "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error" (Eph 4:14).

How mature or immature are you in the Christian life? Among the many signs of maturity are the following:

  • an awareness of being called by God (see 1 Cor 1:1, 2). Do you see life as being many integrated callings from God?
  • a deepening desire for holiness (see 1 Cor 1:2). Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness and holiness more than for pleasure or anything else? (see Mt 5:6)
  • an attitude of gratitude (see 1 Cor 1:4). Do you continually give thanks to God always and for everything? (Eph 5:20)
  • a hopeful expectation of the day of the Lord (1 Cor 1:7; Mt 24:42), when Jesus will return and all will be judged.

Using these four guidelines, check your maturity level. Thank the Lord for the maturity you have. Repent of not being more mature. Ask for the Holy Spirit to make you holy, that is, "fully mature and lacking in nothing" (Jas 1:4).

Life is very challenging. The Lord has an astounding plan for your life. Satan hates you and is trying to drag you into hell. You are going to face tremendous challenges. You will need all the maturity you can get. Grow fast and deep in maturity.

Prayer:  Father, I repent of stunting my growth through selfishness.

Promise:  "Happy that servant whom his master discovers at work on his return!" —Mt 24:46

Praise:  St. John was "overjoyed to hear  (Jesus') voice" (Jn 3:29).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002