Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major
17th Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday 5th August 2023
Lev. 25:1,8-17; Ps. 66:2-3,5,7-8;
Mt. 14:1-12 (Ps. Wk. I)
Moses provided the Israelites with the foundation for a just and humane society. The land belonged to God, not to the people. In the Jubilee years, the land was returned, and debts were cancelled – there was a fresh beginning. Dishonesty and cheating were strictly forbidden. The goal was to prevent people from being economically crushed. By being generous and avoiding possessiveness, we can imitate this practice and ease the burdens of others.
Many negative things people do result from not listening to their conscience or inner self. Herod did not want to harm John the Baptist – in fact, he had a grudging respect for him and liked to listen to him. But driven by unholy desires, he made a foolish promise. And rather than lose face in front of the guests, he did something that he knew was wrong – he ordered John’s execution.
We should not be driven by disordered desires and should not make rash promises based on them. We have to know who we are and what we believe.
Lord, help me to always do what I know is right and just.