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Saturday, August 29, 1998

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Beheading of St. John the Baptizer

Jeremiah 1:17-19
Psalm 71
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 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:  "They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord." —Jer 1:19

Praise:  "I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Mt 11:11).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, The Bible on Sex.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998