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The good news for the day July 30

Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time (406)

Antipas Herod, the “one-quarter ruler,” got word of the reputation of Jesus and said to his employees, “This fellow is John the Baptist—who has been raised from the dead—that is why significant powers are at work in him.”

(Now Herod had John arrested, bound him, and confined him in prison—on account of Herodias, who had been the wife of his brother Philip. John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her as a wife.” Although Antipas Herod wanted to kill John, he was fearful of the public, because people regarded John as a man of God. At a birthday celebration for Herod, though, his step-daughter [and great niece], the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests. She enchanted Herod so much that he swore he would give her anything she might ask for. Urged by her mother, the girl said, “Give me here on a tray the head of John the Baptist.” The king was not happy with this, but because of his pledge and guests who were there, he ordered that the head be brought. He had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a tray and given to the girl, who took it over to her mother. [His disciples came, took away the corpse and buried him; they then went and told Jesus.]) (Matthew 13)

This tale is something out of a soap opera—a weak, but lustful, male, a couple of conniving women, a brave, but ill-fated saint, and a tragic ending. Unfortunately evidence suggests that it is only too true.

So what is the Good News for YOU? What does this true story tell you about God, truth and principle? How is it salvific? I suggest—again—you and I realize how much we are all of the characters. You and I—and he and she—have weaknesses of character, weakness of sex and power pursuits as both men and women, weaknesses of sexual attraction that lead to disasters—but we are also saints suffering persecution and entrapments. It is our good news to have compassion on weakness, strength as saints—and reverence for one another, dead or alive. This is our Divine Family.

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