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Saturday, August 29, 2009

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Martyrdom of
St. John the Baptizer

Jeremiah 1:17-19
Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17
Mark 6:17-29

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grudge match

"Herodias harbored a grudge against him for this and wanted to kill him." —Mark 6:19

Grudges with their bitterness, hatred, resentment, and unforgiveness are catalysts for Satanic activity, insane violence, sexual perversions, and even world war. Therefore, "see to it...that no bitter root springs up through which many may become defiled" (Heb 12:15). "If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Lose no time" (Mt 5:23-25). "The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you" (Eph 4:26-27).

Even the brutal Herod probably didn't think he would become so perverse as to behead John the Baptizer and order his head brought in on a platter at his birthday party. But he didn't realize the diabolical power of Herodias' grudge against John the Baptizer. If we don't forgive even our most bitter enemies, we become part of Satan's most degrading perversions. We join in with the Judases, Stalins, and Hitlers of all time. Our grudges begin a chain-reaction that will have results as murderous as Herodias' beheading of John.

Repent, forgive, and call on Jesus now. The crucified Savior alone can give us the grace to pray: "Father, forgive them" (Lk 23:34).

Prayer:  Father, use John the Baptizer's intercession to lead me to repent of unforgiveness.

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 was such a powerful preacher and prophet that King Herod feared him even when he was in prison (Mk 6:20).

Reference:  (Check www.presentationministries.com for a schedule of our upcoming Discipleship retreats.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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