Today’s Thoughts: We celebrated a familiar feast today that of St. Blaise a bishop and martyr in the early fourth century. Legend has it that he cured a boy who was choking on a fish bone. St. Blaise has long been linked cures of ailments of the throat. In fact many will have their throats blessed today through the intercession of St. Blaise. The legend of St. Blaise’s power to heal flows from his faith as a church leader and a martyr. So just in case you were not able to get your throat blessed today - Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Now don’t you feel better?
The readings today are interesting on the one hand we have the famous story of Herod and John the Baptist. It is a rather gruesome story, it is hard sometimes to think of a young girl being presented with some one's head and then turning and giving it to her mother. Yet, I guess gruesome things happen in life every day, thankfully not in my life.
I am always struck in this story with the fact that Herod is moved by John, that he likes to listen to him, yet he gives in to the worldly pressure around him. I get the feeling Herod knows that John is right, but his power, his self-importance; his ego will not let him say yes. Herod has surrounded himself with people who push him in the wrong direction. We might say that he gives in to the peer pressure of his time!
There is a great line in the Letter to the Hebrews that says, "Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels." It is great advice! Perhaps it is advice that Herod should have heard or heeded. He certainly had one of God's angels, John the Baptist in his presence.
We need to be aware that God can come to us, be present to us in many ways. We need to trust that God is with us always. We need to remember that we are a community of faith not just individuals and we need to always be aware of the struggles and joys of others because they can often bring God into our midst.
Let us today live by the phrase – God is my light and my salvation, whom should we fear? Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Have a great Friday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...