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Friday, February 8, 2013

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St. Jerome Emiliani
St. Josephine Bakhita


Hebrews 13:1-8
Psalm 27:1, 3, 5, 8-9
Mark 6:14-29

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opportunity knocks

"An opportunity came on Herod's birthday." —Mark 6:21

John the Baptist publicly warned Herod: "It is not right for you to live with your brother's wife" (Mk 6:18). This angered Herodias. She had been waiting for a chance to arrange for John to be killed. One day, she had her opportunity and she took full advantage of her chance to have John killed (Mk 6:21ff).

Abortion is legal in the USA because those who oppose life waited for and seized the opportunity by filing Roe vs. Wade. Even Satan, when defeated by Jesus as he tempted Him in the desert, left Him only "to await another opportunity" (Lk 4:13). Jesus noted that "the worldly take more initiative," and wished the godly would have that much vigilance and initiative (Lk 16:8).

We who are disciples of Jesus are to be even more vigilant in awaiting opportunities to serve the Lord, and we are to seize these opportunities when they arise. Each day, opportunity knocks along with Jesus (see Rv 3:20). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are constantly giving us specific and repeated opportunities to repent, to serve in ministry, grow in holiness, work for justice and peace, foster vocations, increase faith, overcome temptation, read the Bible, receive the Eucharist, evangelize, pray, worship the Lord, etc. The Herodiases of the world are not missing out on their opportunities. We who serve Jesus must far surpass them by capitalizing upon every opportunity to further the kingdom of God, for where sin abounds, the grace of opportunity abounds even more (see Rm 5:20).

What holy opportunity is knocking at the door of your life today? "Make the most of the present opportunity" (Eph 5:16).

Prayer:  Father, give me the vigilance to wait and the courage to act.

Promise:  "The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid." —Heb 13:6

Praise:  St. Jerome offered pure worship to God by dedicating his life to caring for orphaned children (see Jas 1:27).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012

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