At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus;and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been telling him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet.
But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herodso much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
St. John Vianney’s seminary teachers considered him to be a dunce. They pushed him through his studies. When John arrived at his first parish, the pastor was reluctant to let him preach to the people. But the bishop had more insight. He moved young John and made him pastor of a small parish in a village called Ars. John did such a remarkable job that people began coming from all over France to hear him preach and to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation with him. Saint John was canonized in 1925 and made patron of parish priests.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours. [Isaiah 55: 9]
Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
Lord, help us to distinguish between constructive criticism and criticism rooted in jealousy and insecurities. Help us to shake off the comments that try to riddle us with fear, inadequacies, and a joyless spirit. Give us the grace to reject those words that attack our hope and confidence. We will approach this day with a humility to learn from others. We will be mindful of our good thoughts and good actions that lessen another’s burden and celebrate the good news of a family member, co-worker, or friend.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team