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Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Heb. 13:1-8 & Mk. 6:14-29

John the Baptist was a man with a mission. His whole life was completely absorbed around the person of Jesus Christ. His vocation in life was to point Jesus out to others. In fact it is hard to think of John the Baptist without thinking of Jesus. How much would we like that to be said about ourselves?

But sadly there would be some people who would say, “But just look and see where John the Baptist’s unselfish life led him?” It ended in tragedy. It was brought to a miserable end by the weakness of a petty ruler, the pawn of an unscrupulous and evil wife, who allowed himself to become trapped by the lewdness of a dancing girl. How could the great herald of the Lord become the victim of such small people? The truth is that even an heroic life can be caught up in the trivia of human existence.

We have all been called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. This calling is a great privilege but we should not allow a false romanticism to obscure our vision of reality. For the most part our lives are ordinary and humdrum. But unselfish love, which was the hallmark of John the Baptist, must also be the hallmark of those who wish to be Christ’s disciples. Such love is expressed in the simple and practical ways suggested in our first reading today. We must be hospitable, show concern to those in need, faithful in marriage, detached from money and rely on the Lord. Our lives may never be as heroic as that of John the Baptist, but they can be very worthwhile if they are pleasing to God our Father.

Lord Jesus, like John the Baptist, may we live only for You and may nothing come between You and us.

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