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Friday, February 6, 2004

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St. Paul Miki & Companions

Sirach 47:2-11
Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51
Mark 6:14-29

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pride: the sin of sins

"King Herod came to hear of Jesus, for His reputation had become widespread." —Mark 6:14

King Herod heard about Jesus. This could have been the opportunity for Herod to believe in Jesus (see Rm 10:17) and be saved from self-destruction. But Herod jumped to the wrong conclusion that Jesus was actually John the Baptizer raised from the dead (Mk 6:16). Herod was prone to believe this falsehood because he carried guilt from murdering John to save face and look good before the guests at his birthday party (Mk 6:26). Herod murdered John because Herod was proud, and this led him astray in other ways.

Herod had an exceptional opportunity to meet and love Jesus shortly before His crucifixion and death. But Herod was still on his ego-trip. Herod tried to use Jesus as a pawn in his own proud posturings (Lk 23:8, 11). Jesus would have no part in it and refused to speak to Herod (Lk 23:9). Herod was face to face with Jesus moments before His crucifixion and death, but there was no communication because of Herod's pride.

Jesus became a human being, died on the cross, and rose from the dead to have a deep, personal relationship with you forever. Will you accept, love, and worship Jesus on His terms, or will you be damned forever in pride?

Prayer:  Father, may I learn from Jesus to be "gentle and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).

Promise:  "The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever; He conferred on him the rights of royalty." —Sir 47:11

Praise:  St. Paul Miki and his twenty-five companions were martyred because of the prideful boasting of a Spanish sea captain. They humbly accepted their sentence, fixed their eyes on Jesus (Heb 3:1), and received the everlasting crown of glory from Him.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003