Friday, August 02, 2019
SATURDAY, 17th Week in Ordinary Time
Lv 25: 1, 8 – 17 / Mt 14: 1 – 12
FROM THE 1ST READING: Lv 25: 12 – 14, 17
This Jubilee year shall be holy for you, and you shall eat what the field yields of itself without cultivation.
In this year of Jubilee each of you shall recover his own property. When you sell something to your neighbor or buy something from him, do not wrong one another. . . .
So you shall not wrong one another but you shall fear your God, for I am Yahweh, your God.
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Mt 14: 6 – 11
On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst of the guests; she so delighted Herod that he promised under oath to give her anything she asked. The girl, following the advice of her mother, said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a dish."
The king was very displeased, but because he had made this promise under oath in the presence of the guests, he ordered it to be given her. So he had John beheaded in prison and his head brought on a dish and given to the girl. The girl then gave it to her mother.
In the first reading, Moses speaks of the celebration of sabbatical years and of jubilees. These celebrations remind the people of their covenant with God and of their obligations to one another as expressed in the commandments from God.. They are reminded: "You shall not wrong one another but you shall fear your God, for I am Yahweh, your God." Our obligations to one another arise from God himself.
In the Gospel reading we see King Herod ordering the beheading of John the Baptist at the capricious demand of the daughter of his wife Herodias. Though he "was very displeased [at the girl's request], but because he had made this promise under oath in the presence of the guests, he ordered it to be given her." Herod acted even against his good judgment because of a false belief that he was obliged to do so, even if what he was doing was clearly wrong and unjust.
Many times in our lives we also make wrong and rash decisions. How many times have we allowed our emotions to take over our rational selves and made decisions or promises which we later regretted? Think of the decisions we made which we really did not like or were against our true values because we wanted to save face, just like Herod, though perhaps not causing such great injustice as the death of an innocent man.
So the next time you make a decision, big or small, do not rush into the first thing which presents itself. Before you make your decision, consider your options and see which are aligned to your goals and values. Do not forget that "you shall not wrong one another but you shall fear your God." Then make your decision.
FINALLY, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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