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Daily Prayer - 2014-02-07

Presence

Lord, you are always there
waiting for me. 
May I never be too busy to
find time to spend in your presence.

Freedom

Lord, guide me always
to do your holy will
knowing that your strength
will carry me through.

Consciousness

When I return to my everyday tasks,
remind me, Lord,
that you are always there beside me.
I need never despair.

The Word of God

Mark 6:14-29

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him." But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised." For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife. "And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it." And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer." Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Imagine. The greatest man ever born of a woman, dying at the hands of bouncers in the basement of a night-club! He was beheaded simply because he stood up for the basic requirement of the Sixth Commandment. He is a model for all of us.
  • Although he was very hard on himself, he was not over-demanding on others. When the soldiers asked him what they should do, he simply said, “No intimidation. No extortion. Be content with your pay”. To the tax collectors, “Exact no more than the appointed rate”. For the rest of us his message was even more simple: “If you have two tunics give one to somebody who has none and make sure that nobody goes hungry.”
  • John the Baptist was no task-master. All he asked from his followers was a reasonable service. In this he anticipated the way of the One who was to come after him.

Conversation

Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
May I respond to your call today.
Teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily living.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.

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