August 3, Saturday Weekday
O God, let all the nations praise you! — Psalm 67:4
Mass Readings: Leviticus 25:1,8-17/Matthew 14:1-12
At the movies I grow impatient with the previews or coming attractions. I’ve often suggested that the owners win because either they lure you back for another film next week, or you get annoyed like me and run out to stock up on candy and soda. (Call me cynical, if you wish.)
Matthew always wants us to focus on Jesus, so we might ask why this story of the death of John the Baptist is included. Think of John’s death as a coming attraction, pointing ahead to the death of Jesus. First, both John and Jesus are executed by civil authorities who hesitate but then go through with the execution. Second, Herodias, like the chief priests, schemes and pressures the civil authority. And third, John’s disciples bury him as Joseph of Arimathea buries Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may my life point others to Your crucified and risen Son.
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