1 Aug Sat - 17th Week in Ordinary Time - St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor

7/31/2020 8:19:34 PM
Jer. 26:11-16,24; Ps. 68:15-16,30-31,33-34; Mt. 14:1-12 (Ps Wk I)

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Those in power rarely react well to criticism or challenge. History is full of brave individuals that spoke out and proclaimed truth. We call them martyrs, prophets, reformers, and saints. Not all were religious, but all were in some way prophetic.

Jeremiah denounced the corruption, injustice, and idolatry of his nation. He urged them to return to the ways of the Lord. He was not enthusiastic about his role as a prophet, but it was clear that he did not voice his own opinions. He spoke in the name of God. We are not all called to be prophets, but we are called to speak in the name of justice and truth.

John the Baptist was thrown into prison by Herod because of his witness to truth and justice. John was fearless, for he knew that the Spirit of God spoke through him. Even Herod was stirred a bit by John's words and sometimes went to listen to him. But he was a weak man. Under the influence of wine, lust, and concern for his honour, he was trapped into ordering John's beheading. As powerful as he was as a ruler, he was pathetically weak as a human being. We need to know ourselves and what we stand for. That is who we are and what we take with us from this life.

Lord, grant me integrity and courage.
 

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8月1日( 六 )   常年期第十七週    聖亞豐索(主教、聖師)

耶肋米亞先知書 26:11-16,24
聖詠 69[68]:15-16,30-31,33-34
瑪竇福音 14:1-12

不論在那個時空、那個文化或宗教傳統,總不會缺少「先知」這類不受歡迎的人物。他們往往都像洗者若翰那樣招致殺身之禍。

既然先知普遍都不會有好下場,為何在悠長的人類歷史中,仍不斷有人挺身承擔這吃力不討好的任務?耶肋米亞的一句話,或許可以提供答案:「因為實在是上主派了我來」。

然而,先知豈不是說:他其實是身不由己的!「實在」一語,突顯先知的使命並非消極和被動,耶肋米亞甚至這樣描述他的召叫:「祢引誘了我」(20:7)。如果履行先知的職務會帶來生命危險,那麼相關的「引誘」必然比生命更有價值和意義。

耶肋米亞(以及其他先知)展現了這價值和意義:宣布天主的勸告,從而讓人返回受造的本意。這任務可能會賠上性命,但先知明白,被扼殺的,其實是天主本來想給人的機會,所以,是殺害先知的人自招血債。

主基督,求祢幫助我們在生活中,不斷聆聽祢的呼喚,以活出更有意義的生命。


DAILY READINGS

PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH
Pope Francis urges reconciliation in message to Church in China
HOW TO PRAY WITH SHALOM
(theology.org.hk)

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