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Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scriptural Readings: Leviticus 25:1, 8-17; Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8; Matthew 14:1-12

My dear encountered couples:

King Herod had a guilty conscience after he had John the Baptist beheaded. Now he thought John was reincarnated in Jesus. Have you ever done anything you knew was wrong? Your conscience bothered you. Then when something bad happened, you felt it was the result of your sinful or foolish act. You began to think, “God is punishing me for what I did.”

Jesus would have been on the scene whether Herod had killed John or not. It was Herod’s guilty conscience that was prodding him to look for his own punishment. For he did deserve to be punished and he knew it. But God had no need of punishing him. Herod knew he had done wrong and he was punishing himself. He had the opportunity of learning from what he had done while accepting God’s forgiveness, or to go on feeling guilt and being angry with himself, while also probably taking his anger out on others.

We can only guess what he did!

You and I, however, must make our own choices. God does not judge nor punish us. We do that for ourselves. Though our consciences may be dulled for one reason or another now, in eternity we will see ourselves clearly. We will realize our own responsibility in everything we’ve done. Then we can go on angry with ourselves and others, or we can accept God’s love and forgiveness. But you don’t have to wait until eternity. You can do this right now and already enjoy some of the peace God gives.


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