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Saturday, August 3, 2002

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Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 14:1-12

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profiles in courage

"John had told him, 'It is not right for you to live with her.' " —Matthew 14:4

Jeremiah courageously confronted his opponents: "It was the Lord Who sent me to prophesy" (Jer 26:12) and "Mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves" (Jer 26:15). Uriah prophesied the same thing to the same people as Jeremiah did (Jer 26:20). However, instead of courageously confronting his enemies, he "fled in fear to Egypt" (Jer 26:21). King Jehoiakim had him hunted down and killed (Jer 26:23). Courage makes a difference how you live or die. Be another Jeremiah, not a Uriah.

John the Baptist courageously confronted Herod regarding his adultery (Mt 14:4). Herod lacked courage, as he was manipulated by fear of public opinion (Mt 14:5), of what others might say (Mt 14:9). John was a martyr; Herod, a killer. Courage can be the difference between love and sin or between salvation and damnation.

Fifty-five years ago today I was baptized. This, of course, was the greatest day of my life. Through Baptism, I received a share in God's nature (2 Pt 1:4), became a child of God, and an heir of God's kingdom. Pray for me to live my Baptism courageously. "Pray for me that God may put His word on my lips, that I may courageously make known the mystery of the gospel" (Eph 6:19). "Pray that I may have courage to proclaim it as I ought" (Eph 6:20).

Be courageous, fearless, unintimidated, and free.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to give me the courage of the first Christians and the martyrs.

Promise:  "Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord your God, so that the Lord will repent of the evil with which He threatens you." —Jer 26:13

Praise:  Margaret courageously went against the opinions of her parents and trusted her heavenly Father. She and her husband's openness to life produced for her parents eight wonderful grandchildren.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002