Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time/ Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori/ August 01, 2020
Gospel: Matthew 14: 1-12
Friends, in our Gospel today Herod the tetrarch had arrested John the Baptist on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip and because of his oaths to the girl who delighted him and the guests present there, he ordered John to be beheaded in prison.
We know that Herod was a man of his word because of his reputation. He also was a person who considers John the Baptist as a prophet which is why though he wanted to kill John for saying publicly his affairs with Herodias, he could not do it for people regarded John also as a prophet. But, because of his reckless promise to the daughter of Herodias to give her anything that she wanted (she asked the head of John the Baptist), he could not refused but to give her request.
For sure, Herod was bothered by his conscience for he knows that John did not do anything bad or evil, that his rebuking of Herod publicly was to stir him of his dark life, and that John did it for his sake to save his soul. Now, he suffers for the rest of his life because of that ‘injustice’ and ‘wronged’ decision made.
Sometimes, in our life we are like Herod. We are clouded by many things that made our judgments very poor. We recklessly made decisions without second thought, and we made decisions without considering ‘righteousness’ before God. We sometimes fail to defend what our hearts says. We are pressured by others thoughts and looks. We even do not want them to look at us, as weak, and wordy. And we sometimes chose the wrong side to say that we are strong, committed, and a man of word. Yet, all are failure in the eyes of God.
Friends, we are invited in today’s Gospel to look inside our hearts. How is my own heart? What is going on in me? What are my reasons of doing such things recklessly? Why am I looking for in my life? Am I looking for just affirmations, or appreciations?
Today, we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus, we are reminded that ‘prayer’ is very essential in our lives particularly before having our decisions! Pope Benedict says prompting everyone in his general audience (August 1, 2012); “St. Alphonsus reminds us that the relationship with God is essential in life and that only with a daily personal prayer and participation in the sacraments can the Divine presence that directs, illuminates and makes safe and peaceful our path, even in the midst of difficulties and dangers, grow in us.” May we do not take decisions recklessly. May we always put God in every decision we will make. God bless all of us.
Prayer By St. Alphonsus de Liguori
My Lord Jesus Christ, who for the love you bear us, remain night and day in this Sacrament, full of compassion and of love, awaiting, calling and welcoming all who come to visit you. I believe that you are present in the Sacrament of the Altar. I adore you from the abyss of my nothingness and I thank you for all the graces you have given me until now, and in particular, for having given me your Most Holy Mother Mary as my advocate and for having called me to visit you in this church. I now salute your Most Loving Heart, and this for three ends: first, in thanksgiving for this great gift; second, to make amends to you for all the outrages which you receive in this Sacrament from all your enemies; third, I intend by this visit to adore you in all the places on earth in which you are present in this Sacrament and in which you are the least revered and the most abandoned. My Jesus, I love you with my heart. I grieve for having until now so many times offended your infinite goodness. I purpose by your grace never more to offend you for the time to come; and now, miserable and unworthy though I am, I consecrate myself to you without reserve. I give you and renounce my entire will, my affections, my desires, and all that I possess. From now on, use me and all that I have as you wish. All I ask of you and desire is your holy love, final perseverance and the perfect accomplishment of your will. I recommend to you the souls in Purgatory; but especially those who had the greatest devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to you all poor sinners. And finally, my dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of your most loving Heart, and I offer them with you to your Eternal Father and beg him for your sake and for love of you, graciously to accept and grant them. Amen.