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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

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

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the grown-ups

"The Lord answered me, 'Say not, "I am too young." To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.' " —Jeremiah 1:7

Today we badly need people like St. John the Baptizer (see Mk 6:17ff). We need courageous men and women who will speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and stand up for purity. We need mature Christians, not "infants in Christ" (1 Cor 3:1) "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error" (Eph 4:14).

How mature or immature are you in the Christian life? Among the many signs of maturity are the following:

  • an awareness of being called by God (see 1 Cor 1:1, 2). Do you see life as being many integrated callings from God?
  • a deepening desire for holiness (see 1 Cor 1:2). Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness and holiness more than for pleasure or anything else? (see Mt 5:6)
  • an attitude of gratitude (see 1 Cor 1:4). Do you continually thank God always and for everything? (Eph 5:20)
  • a hopeful expectation of the day of the Lord (1 Cor 1:7; Mt 24:42), when Jesus will return and all will be judged.

Using these four guidelines, check your maturity level. Thank the Lord for the maturity you have. Repent of not being more mature. Ask for the Holy Spirit to make you holy, that is, "fully mature and lacking in nothing" (Jas 1:4).

Life is very challenging. The Lord has an astounding plan for your life. Satan hates you and is trying to drag you into hell. You are going to face tremendous challenges. You will need all the maturity you can get. Grow fast and deep in maturity.

Prayer:  Father, I repent of stunting my growth through selfishness.

Promise:  "My mouth shall declare Your justice, day by day Your salvation." —Ps 71:15

Praise:  St. John the Baptizer told the truth, and the truth set him free from fear of failure and death (see Jn 8:32, 36).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017

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