Thursday, September 22, 2016

In what way do you imprison the power of God’s message in your life? - Daily Reflections September 22, 2016

A teacher, trying to encourage her students to avoid vices, put a worm in bottles filled with soil, smoke and vodka. The worm inside the bottle filled with smoke and vodka died while the worm inside the bottle filled with soil lived. “What do you conclude class?” asked the teacher. A student stood up and said, “I therefore conclude that when you smoke and drink, you will not have worms in your body.”
         In the Gospel today, Herod is portrayed as someone intrigued by the message of John the Baptist. Luke recounts that every time John preached, Herod felt a certain attraction to John’s words. That is the nature of truth. When it is proclaimed, it never fails to strike a sympathetic chord in the heart. But truth can be threatening for it demands a corresponding action. It either affirms or convicts. Herod was attracted by the message of John but he did not have the courage to give its corresponding demands. What did he do? He put John in prison and beheaded him. In Herod, we see a man wanting to know the truth but could not handle the truth. He was afraid of its consequences and demands.
       God’s truth comes to us in varied ways. Through persons, situations or some sort of religious experience, the truth of God seeks us out. But like Herod, we are afraid of truth’s demands. We do not want the self-denial and conversion it entails. And so we imprison God’s message. We leave God in a corner. We compartmentalize our lives. We confine God and make His message irrelevant to our daily lives. We let the Bible gather dust. We treat the Mass as a once-in-a-while diversion. Remember, God is a “polite” God. He can work in our lives only to the extent that we give Him “permission” to do so. This is what we mean when we say that grace builds on nature.
         Unleash the power of God in your life. Call on Him. Open your heart. Do not be afraid of truth’s demands. As Jesus assures in the Gospel, “You will discover the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8). Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: In what way do you imprison the power of God’s message in your life?
Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be in prison. I want to be free. Entice my heart with the beauty of Your truth and allow me to rejoice in it. Amen.

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