February 3, 2017
(St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr)
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Heb_13:1-8
When was the last time you entertained an angel, beloved? Maybe it was your own child, maybe a parent or a coworker. Hospitality should extent to all, even those we may not be particularly fond of. You never know just when you might be entertaining an angel in disguise!
On the occasion of his birthday, Herod’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” Mk_6:14-29
We’ve all heard the saying, “be careful what you ask for.” Sometimes we have to be just as careful of what we offer. Yes, hospitality is wonderful. But there are limits. “If your son asks for a piece of bread, you will not give him a snake.” Mt_7:9 But if he asks you for a snake??? Will you ???
Behind every shout of grievance is the roar of self-guilt, the roar of self-conviction.
The people in old Jerusalem were paranoid that John the Baptist had come back to life in the form of Jesus. But behind their fear, behind their grievance, was the guilt – that they had not listened. They had not believed what John had to say – because those who did believe John, clearly knew who Jesus was.
And Herod’s guilt brought the whole story back into his mind. As he pondered it all, Herod may have wondered . . . ‘Maybe John was right about this woman.’ ‘Maybe this Jesus has something important to say too.’
But you see, change never comes easy.
In order to clear the cancer, we have to kill some of the good cells too.
In order to clean up a rotting marriage, we have to clean up
some of what’s making it rot.
And in order to clean up a rotting country, we have to clean up some of what’s making it rot too.
– – – And that could really hurt! – – –
We’re in the midst of change in our country. Maybe it will cause a civil war. Maybe the bad will win and the good will lose. But however it turns out, it will still be better to die for the good . . . to die for the sake of life, to die for the sake of Jesus, than to gain a world, a country, that continues on the path to hell.
You see, as to our country, a lot of people didn’t like Lincoln either!
And as to our faith, our eternal future, a lot of people didn’t like Jesus either.
And like John the Baptist, both were killed for the sake of change, change to the better.
Today we’re reminded to pray for both: to pray for our country and for our eternal salvation. They’re both worth dying for!
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