Daily Reflection
August 5th, 2000
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Department of Classics & Modern Language
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Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Psalms 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Matthew 14:1-12

Our two readings today both concern the persecution of God's servants.  Jeremiah suffers here but is not put to death, while John is killed for the most trivial of reasons.  And as for Jesus himself...

The point is that serving God is not always a warm and completely rewarding life, rarely a life lived with perfect and pleasant people.  We can take this seeming inconsistency to mean that we are on the wrong path in our service of God, that everyone else is wrong (such arrogance!), or that God is asleep or needs our advice on how to run his world.  We can lose heart or even lose sight of why we are living as Christians.

We forget that this is God's world and that God is the one responsible for our salvation: we are only involved because of God's great respect for us, and our participation is primarily a matter of our following God's lead.  We must keep our eyes on God alone and deal with the frequently difficult conditions of our lives as only secondary to our thoroughly rooting ourselves in him.  If we can do this constantly we might get to the point where we can welcome even a difficult life as a gift from God.  We will then pray only "Your will be done" and rejoice in whatever he calls us to, meet all our problems as a chance to engage our God in faith and trust.

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