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Jun 01st
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Aug 29, 2009 - Saturday Meditation (God's Gifts - Are We Using These for God's Glory?)
Aug 29, 2009 - Saturday Meditation (God's Gifts - Are We Using These for God's Glory?) PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 28 August 2009 14:21

A sk yourself: do you believe God has gifted you in any way?  If so, stop to count and reflect on whatever gifts God has entrusted to you.  Should you want to grow spiritually make a genuine effort to develop these gifts. Finally, with greater appreciation for and use of your gifts notice how they bring increased glory to God and more meaning to your life.


Memorial of the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

1 Thessalonians 4:9-11

Psalm 98:1, 7-8, 9


M ark 6:17-29  (alternate reading: Matthew 25:14-30) For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife; because he had married her. (18) For John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." (19) And Hero'di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, (20) for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. (21) But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee .  (22) For when Hero'di-as' daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you  wish, and I will grant it." (23) And he vowed to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." (24) And she went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the baptizer." (25) And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." (26) And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. (27) And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, (28) and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. (29) When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.



* M editation by Howie Kalb, S.J.



To be gifted by God is a wonderful thing.  And God has gifted all of us.  No two in the same way, but with gifts God knows are for our well being and his glory.  The four major characters in today’s Gospel exemplify how God’s gifts can achieve his purpose or destroy it.


John the Baptist was gifted with holiness and the power to convert sinners.  With these gifts he drew many of the Jews to the Jordan where he brought them to repentance and baptism.  His integrity didn’t allow for compromise.  Courageously he chastised the King for his adulterous life with his brother Philip’s wife.  John paid for his efforts being imprisoned and beheaded.


King Herod had the gifts of sovereignty and political power.  He had the potential to bring prosperity and peace to Judea .  Unfortunately he abused his gift and used his power to choose to be an adulterer and murderer by executing the innocent John the Baptist.


Salome had a gift for dancing.  Her gift enabled her to bring beauty and joy to audiences.  She did so for the King and his guests. It also brought her rewards. Herod would give her anything; even to half of his kingdom. The hatred and cynicism of her mother infected the girl’s choice.  She used her gift for evil as an accomplice in murder.  Hardly the reason God gifted her.


Herodias, the adulteress, undoubtedly was gifted with charm and passion.  She was able to mesmerize Herod, Philip and her daughter.  Her gifts enabled her to manipulate all of them for her own sordid end.  When gifts are corrupted they become like diseases infecting any thing they touch.


Ask yourself: do you believe God has gifted you in any way?  If so, stop to count and reflect on whatever gifts God has entrusted to you.  Should you want to grow spiritually make a genuine effort to develop these gifts. Finally, with greater appreciation for and use of your gifts notice how they bring increased glory to God and more meaning to your life.  



S upplementary Reading




Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel , that they may know I am with you…' – Joshua 3:7



It’s amazing how God, in our weakest and darkest hours, ever lovingly sends His power over us, to lead and guide us where He intends us to be.


When my relatives in Sydney registered me to participate in the Hillsong Conference ‘07, I was the least excited. Not knowing what to expect and what it will yield and lead me to, I resorted to begging off a ridiculous number of times. Not to mention that I was extremely “busy” minding some intense emotional and personal issues at that time.


However, in one prayer of submission to our Lord two nights before my departure date, God impressed upon my heart “His grip” that assured me that He wanted me there and that He had everything under control.


As if a strong arm held me through a raging river so I could safely cross, I felt suddenly secure. And so I went. Now my friends, you are reading one of the very reasons why God wanted me there: to bear witness to it here, in my very first reflection for Didache. Eugene Cailao  (Kerygma)




The Lord can only gain control over us as much as we allow Him to. Let us be humble in our prayers and accept that we are incapable without Him.


I humble myself under Your Mighty Hand, Lord, that in due time You may exalt me. I cast all my cares unto You, Father God. Bless me.


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Last Updated on Friday, 28 August 2009 19:28
Comments (1)
1 Saturday, 29 August 2009 10:53


St John the Baptist is the only saint who is honoured by the Church on both the occasion of his birth and of his death. Christ’s Precursor teaches every one of us by his example of heroic fortitude to fulfil God’s Will in our lives no matter what the obstacles may be.

The fortitude of St John the Baptist.

Lord, I shall expound your law before kings and not fear disgrace; I shall ponder your decrees, which I have always loved (Entrance Antiphon: Ps 118:46-47).

The Church celebrates the birth of St John the Baptist on June 24. Today, she commemorates his dies natalis, the day of his death. King Herod, as St Mark calls him, ordered his execution. Herod is one of the most pitiful individuals in the Gospel. He ruled during Christ’s years of preaching and his manifestation as the awaited Messiah, and had even met the Saviour’s precursor. Behold the Lamb of God the Baptist told some of his own disciples. Herod also used to enjoy hearing him speak (Mark 6:17-20). He could have met Christ, whom he longed to see in person, but he committed the enormous injustice of beheading the one entrusted with the mission of pointing him out. Immoral habits and evil passions led him to the awful crime. Moreover, they prevented him from perceiving Truth. When he finally did meet Christ face to face he blasphemously proposed the Lord of heaven and earth entertain him and his friends with a miracle (Luke 23:6-9).

St John the Baptist preached what specific individuals needed to hear, given their particular circumstances in society. He spoke to common townspeople, publicans, soldiers (Luke 3:10-14), Pharisees and Saducees (Matt 3.7-12), and even to Herod him self. Through his humble and austere example of integrity, he affirmed his testimony concerning the arrival of the Messiah (John 1:29;36-37). The Baptist told Herod: It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife (Mark 6:18). He had no fear of the great and powerful, nor did he give importance to their threats. He bore in his heart God’s counsel to the prophet Jeremiah which we recall in the First Reading of the Mass today: Brace yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all I command you. Do not be dismayed at their presence, or in their presence I will make you dismayed. I, for my part, will make you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, and a wall of bronze to confront the whole land: The kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the country people will fight against you, but shall not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you (Jer 1:17-19).

The Lord asks fur our fortitude in everyday things. He wants our exemplary life and words to be a simple wit ness of our love for Christ and for his Church without our ever giving in to fear or human respect.

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore. com (info@totusbookstore .com)

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