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Saturday, July 31, 2004

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 14:1-12

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"Recall that Herod had had John arrested, put in chains, and imprisoned on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. That was because John had told him, 'It is not right for you to live with her.' " —Matthew 14:3-4

It is better for us that Jesus no longer walks the face of the earth, because now we have the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, sent by God the Father and the Son (Jn 16:7). The Spirit proves us wrong about sin (Jn 16:8). For example, the Spirit worked through John the Baptist to convict Herod and Herodias of their sin of adultery. Sadly, they did not accept the Spirit's correction, murdered John, and appear to have eventually destroyed themselves. The chosen people of Jeremiah's time likewise refused God's correction through prophet after prophet (see e.g. Jer 26:11), and they eventually destroyed their nation and were exiled into Babylon.

Occasionally, someone accepts the Holy Spirit's precious correction, which leads them to eternal life and protects them from damnation. For example, on one occasion the princes and the people who heard the prophetic warnings from Jeremiah said: "This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the Lord, our God, that he speaks to us" (Jer 26:16). Will you repeatedly accept the Holy Spirit's corrections so as to be made holy by the Spirit of holiness? Or will you decide to be part of the "immoral majority"? If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts (Ps 95:7-8).

Prayer:  Father, burn away sin from my life no matter what it takes.

Promise:  "Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah, so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death." —Jer 26:24

Praise:  St. Ignatius opened his heart to the Holy Spirit by spending a year in prayer and penance after his conversion to the Lord.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003