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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Beheading of St. John the Baptist

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5
Matthew 23:27-32 or
Mark 6:17-29

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"John had told Herod, 'It is not right for you to live with your brother's wife.' Herodias harbored a grudge against him for this and wanted to kill him." —Mark 6:18-19

Many of us have accepted God's grace to be sexually pure. Many have also told their Christian friends about the importance of having victory over sexual temptations. In talking with our Christian friends, we have probably decried the breakdown of sexual morality. Yet are we proclaiming the truth and freedom of sexual purity to the Herodiases and Herods of our time? This does not mean that we gossip about them behind their backs but that we lovingly and confidentially face them with God's call to repentance and purity.

It is not good enough to be sexually pure and keep it to ourselves. We must proclaim the truth, freedom, and love of sexual purity to individuals in our promiscuous, confused, sexually addicted, self-deceived, and self-hating society. Some will hear our message and be freed for true love. Others will rage when we love them enough to tell them the truth about sin. They will try to persecute us with a vengeance. We may even be killed as St. John the Baptist was. This will result in many conversions and in our resurrection into the eternal life and joy of heaven.

Therefore, be pure and courageous. Speak "the truth in love" (Eph 4:15). Speak of purity, repentance, and life-giving love. Speak of Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, make me pure as You are pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Promise:  "Indeed, when we were with you we used to lay down the rule that anyone who would not work should not eat." —2 Thes 3:10

Praise:  St. John the Baptist "heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel" (Acts 13:24).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 15, 2017

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