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Monday, August 29, 2005

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Beheading of
St. John the Baptizer

Jeremiah 1:17-19
Psalm 71
Mark 6:17-29

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the john the baptist award

"Stand up and tell them all that I command you." —Jeremiah 1:17

At the monthly Mass for Presentation Ministries, the priest who celebrated Mass revealed his dream during the homily. He wants to see an annual award, called the St. John the Baptist Courage Award. It would be awarded to that Catholic bishop who has most courageously spoken out for the cause of pro-life. The "trophy" would be a silver platter, symbolizing both the courage St. John the Baptist displayed in continuously speaking out against Herod's public adultery (Mk 6:18) and his resulting imprisonment and execution (Mk 6:28).

Such an award would be yet another encouragement for all of us, in every walk of life, to speak out against injustice and for the Lord. God tells us: "Whatever I command you, you shall speak...Stand up and tell them all that I command you" (Jer 1:7, 17). "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you," says the Lord (Acts 18:9-10). It's as simple as this: there is legalized abortion in the USA because enough people who wanted abortion stood up and spoke out, while not enough people who opposed abortion spoke out.

Is the Lord calling one of you to make this dream a reality?

Prayer:  Father, teach me "what to say and how to speak" (Jn 12:49).

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:  St. John the Baptizer spent years telling people to repent and live an austere life. Many people said he was mad (Mt 11:18). However, thousands of people repented.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005

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