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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

February 5 A..D. 2010

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Sirach 47:2-11
Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51
Mark 6:14-29

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you. (Mark 6:22)

Sirach presents young David as a national hero, a fearless fighter who subdued wild beasts and killed the giant warrior Goliath with one pebble hurled at his head with a sling. David raised Israel's reputation as a strong nation and also showed great devotion to God, thanking Him for his gifts of strength and courage. In Psalm 18 David expresses his love for the universal God, a shield to all who seek refuge in Him. He also refers to God's promise to care for his posterity, that from his seed Israel's savior would come.

Our New Testament reading presents Israel's "true heroes" in a negative light. Both Jesus and John the Baptist were seen by the religious leaders and the Roman invaders as serious threats, possibly inciting rebellions. John the Baptist was victimized by Herodias, Herod's wife once married to his half brother. When John announced that she and Herod were in an adulterous union, Herod imprisoned him, but recognizing his holiness and popularity, feared having him killed.

The vengeful Herodias used her daughter's provocative dance done for the guests at Herod's birthday banquet when he foolishly said he would reward her with anything she asked. Her mother, who knew Herod had to save face by keeping promises made in others' presence, told her to demand John's head on a platter. Feeling their authority threatened, the religious hierarchy, demanded Christís crucifixion, even though both Pilate and Herod had cleared Him of any capital crime.

It appears that power and politics have not changed over the last twenty centuries. Those who speak the unvarnished truth, that which requires some sacrifice from people, will lose the vote to the strongly assertive or to the smooth, convincing, charismatic liars.

O Blessed Lord,
send Your Holy Spirit to abide within our minds and hearts to give us the gift of discernment, and the ability to reject lies and choose living in Your holy truth.

~ Marie Bocko, OCDS | email: mlbocko(at)twcny(dot)rr(dot)com

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Agatha, virgin and martyr

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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