Aug 3 (Mt 14:1-12)

An incident is narrated of a man who brought a package of supplies from a trading shop.

On reaching home, to his surprise, he found a silver coin inside the package.

>>Something troubled him.

He came back the next morning to the trader and handed him back the silver coin.

>> The trader was amused and surprised and asked him: “That’s interesting to see that you have returned back the silver coin!”

The customer replied: “Well, I got a good man and a bad man in my heart!

>> The good man said, `It is not yours’; the bad man said, ‘Nobody will know’.

>> The good man said, ‘Take it back’; the bad man said, `Never mind’.”

And so thinking, I went to bed…

… but the good man and the bad man talked the whole night and troubled me.”

The conscience of the man caused him disturbance because of the fault that he was supposedly in…

… and made him to yield to its goodness!

Each of us, at every moment, have our conscience speaking to us…

>> Do we listen and give heed?

>> Or do we silence the voice of the conscience and allow our guilt to rotten up our minds and dirty our actions?

The Gospel of the Day presents the intense ordeal faced by King Herod who failed to give consideration to the voice of conscience…

>> And instead had his mind rottened and his actions dirtied…

… by falling into the trap of guilt and shame.

King Herod had exercised his authority and sinfulness by beheading John the Baptist. (Mt 14:1-12).

>> The demon of guilt and shame of that inhuman murder kept bothering him.

In this scattered state of mind, King Herod hears about the deeds and wonders of another man, Jesus.

>> His guilt-filled and confused mind is unable to grasp the identity of this new man who works marvels and so he told: “This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him!” (Mt 14:2).

The king harassed by sin and shame failed to grapple the mystery of the Son of God, the King of kings!

The persona of Jesus surpasses great minds and cannot be arrested by hardened hearts!

>> The character of Jesus baffles proud mentalities and cannot be captured by cynical spirits!

King Herod was greatly disturbed with a guilty conscience and a sinful heart.

>> He felt greatly challenged and threatened by Jesus, Who was being considered as a King.

The sinful and corrupt Kingdom of Herod was faced with an opposition from…

… the pure and holy Kingdom of God!

The increasing popularity of Jesus caused Herod the Tetrarch, the ruler of the land, to come face-to-face with his guilty conscience.

Truth is always very powerful!

It can, silently, yet very authoritatively…

… challenge faulty lives

… prick guilty consciences

… confront culpable actions

Herod bore the guilt of having killed John the Baptist, who was the voice of the Truth.

>> He knew that he had done something extremely wicked and merciless

>> He knew that he had acted in opposition to truth, to honesty and to sincerity.

Therefore, the rising fame of the Lord – whom he misunderstood as John the Baptist – drove him to despair over that brutal act of the killing of the Baptist.

• The constant exposition to wicked thoughts and evil inclinations had caused his life to become a pillar of guilt-filled feelings!

>> Think wicked, and our character will decay into being evil…

On the other hand, was the righteous life of John the Baptist.

He was born with a sense of purpose – of being a voice to the Truth.

He maintained this goal by always living in sincerity – fearless and courageous.

>> To this end, he even valiantly shed his blood!

• The constant nurturing of holy purposes and sacred acts had caused his life to become a pillar of a purpose-filled existence!

>> Think nobler, and our character will mould into being noble…

We need to examine our lives and conscience and check…

>> Am I, like King Herod, filled with fear and doubts because of my sinful conscience and guilty mind?

OR…

>> Can I be like John the Baptist, filled with a sense of purpose and clarity in life?

>> Is my life a chest-box of guilt-filled feelings – formed by deposits of wickedness, evil and sin?

OR…

>> Can my life be a treasure of a purpose-filled existence – formed by deposits of holy determination and sanctified lives?

Yes, each of us, at every moment, have our conscience speaking to us…

>> Do we listen and give heed?

… or do we silence the voice of the conscience and allow our guilt to rotten up our minds and dirty our actions?

Purified by the Sacraments…

>> Strengthened by God’s Word…

>> Empowered in prayer…

… may we become persons who have our conscience always pure and always give heed to the voice of the Lord, “Be Holy, as I am Holy!”

Today is the First Saturday of the Month – when we specially honour and venerate the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother Mary…

Let us today specially seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother, and consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, that we may be inspired and impelled to live a holy life.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “And when children begin to use their reason, fathers and mothers should take great pains to fill their hearts with the fear of God.

This the good Queen Blanche did most earnestly by St. Louis, her son: witness her oft-repeated words, “My son, I would sooner see you die than guilty of a mortal sin;” words which sank so deeply into the saintly monarch’s heart…

… that he himself said there was no day on which they did not recur to his mind, and strengthen him in treading God’s ways!”

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